The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered herders and settlers residing inside the forests around Umunneochi Local Government Area, to leave there immediately.
Recall that a member of Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Uche, was abducted alongside the Bishop of Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s chaplain on Ihube-Leru-Isuochi Road in Umunneochi LGA. The victims were released after payment of an N100 million ransom.
A statement issued on Sunday, June 5 by the State Information Commissioner, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, contained the new instruction.
The statement said the instruction was consequent upon the fact-finding visit of the governor to the scenes of incessant kidnappings and killings in Umunneochi Local Council of the state and interactive sessions he has been having with Umunneochi leaders, stakeholders, and security agencies.
The Governor also directed that cows and herders operating in the area are restricted to the Cattle Market at Umuchieze until a final decision is reached concerning the menace in the Cattle Market.
The statement read;
“Arising from the extensive interactive sessions which His Excellency Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has been having with Umunneochi Leaders, Stakeholders, and Security Agencies, he hereby directs as follows:
- That the Commissioner of Police Abia State alongside Umunneochi Youths provides immediate Security along the Ihube to Isuochi Road stretching from Ngodo through Lomara Junction all the Way to Ihube.
2. Upon the implementation of the above directive The Governor directs the Chairmen of Umunneochi LGA, Chief Ifeanyi Madu to open the Road leading from Ihube through Lomara Junction to Ngodo Isuochi immediately.
3. The Commissioner of Police, Abia State has been mandated to draw up logistic requirements for mounting six additional checkpoints at strategic locations across Umunneochi LGA.
4. Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu hereby directs that all settlers, herders, and individuals residing inside the forests around Umunneochi LGA vacate such locations with immediate effect. Government can no longer guarantee the safety of any person or group found to be residing in the forests around Umunneochi LGA.
5. All Cows and herders around Umunneochi LGA are hereby restricted strictly to the Cattle Market located at Umuchieze until a final decision is reached concerning the menace in the Cattle Market
6. The Leadership of the youth of Umunneochi LGA Vigilante Groups, Hunters, and the Hausa Community will continue to meet with the Governor until an amicable solution is found to the incessant cases of Insecurity in the Area.
7. His Excellency, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu urges all parties to show restraint and circumspection in their utterances and actions in order to maintain the peace and promote the peaceful coexistence of all law-abiding citizens.