Eight persons have been confirmed dead following an attack by gunmen on a market in Omumauzor, a community in Ukwa West LGA of Abia.
The attack was said to be carried out on Tuesday midnight at the new cattle market.
Though the identity of the hoodlums were yet-to-be ascertained at the time of filing the report, it was learnt the invaders were heavily armed and attempts by local vigilante to combat them failed.
Confirming the incident in a statement issued on Wednesday, Candidreporters.com gathered that Eze Chikamnayo, Abia information commissioner, said the state government deployed security agents to prevent the breakdown of law and order in the community.
Chikamnayo said the state government also sent a delegation led by A.C.B. Agbazuere, chief of staff to Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia, 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 reads.
“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 ACB 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 8 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.”
The commissioner also said the Abia government is taking steps to compensate the traders whose property 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 victims the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” he added.