Otti Reveals Discovery of 50 Dead Bodies, Numerous Skeletons at Lokpanta

Otti Reveals Discovery of 50 Dead Bodies, Numerous Skeletons at Lokpanta

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Governor of Abia State, Mr. Alex Otti, has given an insight into the atrocities that criminals perpetrated at the Lokpanata Cattle Market and its environs in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.

Otti revealed that the horror was unearthed during security operations a fortnight ago, saying that security agents discovered 50 dead bodies, 20 decomposing headless bodies and countless skeletons that littered the area.

He made the spine chilling revelations on Sunday night at the second edition of his monthly media interaction tagged “Governor Alex Otti Speaks to Abians.”

It was aired live on several radio stations with listeners participating by asking their governor questions on issues bothering them.

Otti stated that it was the horrendous discovery that prompted government to convert the cattle market to non-residential market hence people residing in the market were asked to relocate.

He reiterated that the cattle market would now become a general purpose market with sections for different goods while commercial activities would last from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.  daily.

Apart from the human carnage at the market, Otti also noted that the market served as haven for other criminal activities like gun running, prostitution, narcotics trade, among other unsavory acts.

Lokpanta Cattle Market and its environs assumed the notoriety of being referred to as “axis of evil” due to the pervasive kidnappings and armed robbery activities perpetrated along this segment of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

The government’s decision to make the cattle market non-residential was misinterpreted by the Northern Consensus Movement (NCM), which said that northerners were being targeted and asked to quit Abia State.

The President of NCM, Mr. Auwal Abdullahi, had vowed that he would not fold his arms while northern traders “face humiliation and disgrace in Abia or any other part of the eastern states.”

Abdullahi also appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar ll, to intervene by calling the Abia State Government to order, and also issue ultimatum for southeasterners to leave northern states.

But Otti said that the NCM leaders recanted and rescinded their quit notice to Igbos in the north after they were confronted with the sobering facts of the atrocities criminals were committing under the cover of the cattle market.

He explained that asking people to leave the market and find alternative residences has no ethnic or religious colourations, but purely for security of lives and properties of every resident in Abia.

The governor said: “Criminals don’t ask if you’re from north or south or the religion you profess before they attack,” and that the victims whose bodies were discovered could have come from any part of the country. 

He stated that “anybody opposed to what we are doing (to secure the state) must be a criminal,” adding that Abia would be made very safe for people to celebrate Christmas this year.

The governor assured residents that Umunneochi axis “is now calm” with no reports of kidnappings since after the security operation, which would be sustained to ensure criminals don’t rear their heads again.

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