- Years long suspicions where confirmed when decapitated human bodies and skeletal remains were found in the cattle market
- Against Abia’s state government directive, the cattle sellers are refusing to live amongst natives, saying “its not a viable option due to high crime rate in Umunneochi”.
ABIA STATE- Against the stance of the state government and the community, cattle sellers from the northern part of Nigeria, under the umbrella group, Northern Community Traders (NCT), are still insisting on residing in the notorious Lokpanta market in Umuchieze, Umunneochi Local Counci, where over 80 murdered humans where found.
They are said to be appealing to the state governor, Dr. Alex Otti, urging him to reconsider the move to restrict traders from living in the market area.
According to Buba Abdullahi Kedemure, spokesperson for the traders, emphasized that relocating to different communities within Umuchieze is not a viable option due to the high crime rate in Umunneochi.
It was revealed that the traders had initially agreed to relocate from the market in two separate meetings with the governor. The government’s decision to convert the cattle market into a daily general non-residential one was based on reported criminal activities within the market and allegations that ransom payments from kidnapping incidents were being dropped off in the market vicinity.
Governor Otti announced the market’s new operating hours, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, and the admission of traders dealing in various merchandise.
The situation escalated following the horrific discovery of 80 decomposing human bodies and 20 headless ones, including skeletons of adults and children, during a recent security operation in the Lokpanta area.
Abia state government is yet to publicly announce if any arrests have been made at the cattle market in connection with the gruesome find, and whether autopsies have been conducted on the corpses to establish their possible identities