Citizens of Abia State and other residents watched in horror as their Governor, Alex Otti, told them that security operatives had discovered 70 bodies during a recent raid.
According to the Punch newspaper, Otti dropped the bombshell during his second monthly media chat held in Umuahia, the Abia State capital on Sunday.
It was fresh horror as the governor told his bewildered audience that 20 decomposing bodies (some of them headless) and skeletons were discovered by security agents when they raided forests around the Lokpanta Cattle Market located in the Umunneochi area along the Enugu-Port-Harcourt expressway.
But that was not all. Governor Otti further disclosed that another 50 bodies were also found around the market, some of who may have been victims of kidnappers as the security agents were able to trace payment of ransom to suspected kidnappers in and around the market.
The governor did not leave families of the victims and Abians in general as he vowed that every inch of the state would be combed in the search for dare-devil criminals who committed the horrific crime.
This, he assured, was in sync with his administration’s commitment to protect the lives and property of all Abians as well as visitors to the state.
He also reiterated that his administration’s resolve to make the cattle market a daily market was not aimed at any particular tribe in the country. Rather, it was part of the efforts to strengthen the security architecture of the market and its host community.
“We have taken a stand to provide adequate security to Abia citizens and visitors because no government can succeed in the face of insecurity,” Otti said. “This government will not get involved in supporting criminals or allow them to occupy any part of the state.
“When we decided to occupy the Lokpanta cattle market in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state, we discovered 50 dead bodies, 20 headless dead bodies, men, women and children and uncountable skeletons. We also discovered that ransoms paid to kidnappers were usually dropped close to the market.”