Gunmen have invaded a cattle market in Omumauzor, a community in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, killing eight persons.
The attack which happened on Tuesday night forced residents to take cover in the nearby bushes as gunshots rented the air.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Abia, Eze Chikamnayo, confirmed the attack via a statement issued on Wednesday.
He said security agents have been deployed to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the community, and that the state government has sent a delegation led by A. Agbazuere, the Chief of Staff to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, to visit the area.
“On Tuesday, 15th February 2022 at about 11:35pm, some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums allegedly invaded traders at the New Cattle Market located in Omumauzor, Ukwa West Local Government Area of our dear state,” the statement read.
“Government responded swiftly by mobilising the various security agencies to the scene that night to secure the lives and properties of the innocent traders and fish out the assailants.
“This was followed this morning by a high-powered team made up of the Chief of Staff, Prof A.C.B. Agbazuere; Hon Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu; Honorable Commissioner for Homeland Security, Chief Sopuruchi Bekee; Executive Chairman of Ukwa West LGA, Chief Okey Kanu, in the company of the state Commissioner of Police, CP Janet Agbede.
“We are shocked and saddened by this mindless and barbaric act of violence that claimed the lives of about eight innocent citizens of our great country and we totally condemn this dastardly act together with its wicked perpetrators.
“We are working assiduously to provide succour to the families of the victims. Those who sustained injuries are currently receiving medical attention.”
According to the commissioner, the state government is taking steps to compensate the traders whose properties were destroyed in the market.
“While waiting for the outcome of ongoing investigations by our diligent security forces, the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, together with all Abians pray for God to grant the families of the victims the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” he added.
( Channels TV)