Northern traders at the Umuchieze cattle market in Umunneochi council, in Abia State have said that their request to be recruited in the Ebubeagu is to assist the security outfit to protect the Cattle Market.
They stated that they have suffered attacks from kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers and other criminals.
Spokesman of the Northern Community in Umuchieze Cattle Market, Mr. Buba Abdullahi Kedemure said the traders are willing to submit their vigilante security service to the Ebubeagu security outfit.
In his words; the Umuchieze Cattle Market is made up of both northern and Igbo traders. The overwhelming threat of insecurity in the market made us to write Save-Our-Soul (SOS) letters to both the Commissioner of Police, Abia State and State Director of the Department of State Security for protection early this year.
“The local vigilante we set up sometimes ago is without arms; we are helpless, that’s why we want to be included in the Ebubeagu and will serve only in Umuchieze Cattle Market. Our vigilante can be incorporated into Ebubeagu and serve and take orders from its command structure. We are not asking to work with them, but bring them to protect our lives and properties including cows.”
A cross section of other leaders at the market debunked reports that the market has been infiltrated by bandits anddescribed the cattle market as a peaceful one that welcomes businessmen and women from across the country.
The Cattle Dealers commended the South East governors for establishing Ebubeagu.
“We’re deeply worried by this allegation that bandits have infiltrated the Umuchieze cattle market. This allegation is a calculated attempt by some disgruntled elements within and outside the cattle market to incite our host communities and government against us.
“The good people of Abia State and the nation at large should disregard the allegation. The rumours allege that we’re harbouring bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and herdsmen in the market and that the said criminals were authorized by us to plan and attack their victims within and outside the state.
“Today marks 16 years and three months since the cattle market was established and has become a unifying factor between the North and the South. Some people are not happy with the peaceful coexistence that has been existing between us and our host communities; hence the allegation,” they said.