Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, has inaugurated an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the affairs of Umuchieze Cattle Market, Lokpanta Umunneochi, charging them to ensure peace and security of the market.
This is contained in press release by Chief Okiyi Kalu, Abia Commissioner for Trade and Investment and made available to newsmen in Aba on Saturday.
Ikpeazu, while inaugurating the committee at Umuahia, charged its members to ensure the market did not serve as launching pad for attacks by criminal elements against innocent citizens and visitors to the state. He said that Abia had always been home to people from diverse places living peacefully together with the people of the state.
Ikpeazu, who was represented at the event by the trade and investment commissioner, vowed that the state would not tolerate any ungoverned space within its boundaries .
The governor explained that the delay in the committee’s inauguration was due to the need for security agents to properly screen the nominees to ensure none of them was involved in criminal activities.
“As members of this interim market committee, you are expected to help translate our vision of making the state the number one trade and investment destination in the country.
“You are also expected to help make the state a place where visitors and residents coexist peacefully to maximally benefit from the enablers provided by the government.
“We are worried about the recent upsurge in criminal activities around the cattle market.
“And in addition to the security measures already put in place, we want to rid the market of criminal elements and also ensure cleanliness of the environment.
“So you must ensure that trading activities happen only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. with all cargo carrying vehicles parked inside the market as against the current practice of parking on the highway,” he directed.
He further urged the committee to ensure that all traders within the market were issued with identity cards and revenue collection streamlined to avoid multiple taxation and extortion.
Alhaji Buba Abdullahi, Chairman of the Committee, thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve in the state.
He assured that the committee would carry out its task in the best interest of the people and work towards ensuring a harmonious relationship between cattle traders and the host community.
Mrs Janet Agbede, Abia Police Commissioner while addressing members of the committee in her office, charged them to ensure peace and tranquility within the market.
“We have taken measures to ensure that the area is rid of kidnappers and other criminal elements and you should help us sustain the efforts or be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order,” she said.
Members of the committee include Alhaji Buba Abdullahi, Chairman, Mr Nwankwo Paul, Vice Chairman, Alhaji Baba Ahmed, Secretary, Mr James Obete, Chief Security Officer and Francis Anusi, Financial Secretary.
Others are Alhaji Saleh Algare, member, Alhaji Annyim Umaro, member, Alhaji Amin Muhammed, member, Prince Auwalu Hamma, member, Alhaji Nwafor Monday, member and Mr. Ike Ezechinyerem, member.