The Abia State Government has embarked on the demolition of brothels and shanties at the regional cattle market, Lokpanta, saying that they now serve as hideouts for criminals terrorising people around the area.
Government also said that the demolished shanties had since been converted to a haven for hard drug traffickers, adding that a kidnapper was recently arrested in one of the shanties.
The demolition is coming less than two weeks after Vanguard exclusively reported a threat by Umunneochi youths that they would demolish the shanties which they lamented had become a source of misery to the people.
According to the youth leader in the council, Prince Uche, the presence of the regional cattle market in their locality has ruined the future of youths as some of them have been corrupted by criminals haboured in the brothels.
The youths also vowed that government must relocate the entire cattle market which according to them, provides habour for criminal Fulani herders behind the incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom around the area.
The cattle market was brought to Lokpanta by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu while he was the Governor of Abia State.
Paramount Traditional Ruler of Isuochi, HRM, Eze Godson Ezekwesiri (Ochi 1 of Isuochi), had also in an interview with Vanguard, insisted that the regional cattle market must be relocated from Umunneochi Council.
“We don’t want the cattle market. It’s of no use to us. Kidnappers and criminals terrorising our people hide inside the cattle market.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Homeland Security, Sopuruchi Bekee, in a statement, Monday, explained that the demolition was carried out by the state government as part of the on-going measures to contain insecurity in the area.
“Our attention has been drawn to videos circulating on social media purporting to be demolished “Igbo quarters” at Lokpanta Cattle Market and we wish to state that the demolished areas are shanties and brothels where criminal elements hide and from where they attack unsuspecting citizens.We recently arrested a kidnapper who is a member of the gang terrorizing travellers around the area”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the demolition was carried out by security agents and representatives of the government of Abia State based on verified information that criminals are using the place as launching pad to attack and kidnap citizens.
“Our ongoing security operations within that axis are aimed at rooting out criminal elements and no stone will be left unturned until our aim is achieved.
“We appreciate the support of citizens and residents of the area who are providing needed information and wish to assure that in no time, we will totally dominate the area to ensure security of lives and property.”
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