A coalition of Igbo unions in Nigeria has voiced its reservations about the recent attempts to eject northerners from the cattle market in Umunneochi, Abia State.
Under the leadership of Mr. Obinna John Okoroafor, the organization issued a statement expressing concerns that these actions could have a detrimental impact on Igbo traders, affecting them not only in the northern region but also in different parts of Nigeria.
They stressed that if the problems encountered by northern traders in the cattle market are not handled properly, it could serve as a dangerous precedent and spark unrest and strife in other parts of Nigeria, ultimately impacting the Igbo population.
The group dissociated itself from Governor Alex Otti’s “reckless utterances and thoughtless actions,” alleging that he may be acting politically in making these choices.
They also condemned the indiscriminate demolition of shops and residential homes, urging authorities to provide alternatives for northerners without delay.
Governor Otti was given a 48-hour ultimatum by the group, pleading with him to rethink the choice for the sake of preserving goodwill and harmony among Nigerians.
According to the group: “We remain Nigerians and are committed to the actualization of a peaceful and just environment for all Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity, religion or tribe.”
“We urge the Security Agencies to redouble their efforts in curbing the menace of Kidnapping and criminality in Umunneochi, Abia State and Nigeria in general.”
“While we acknowledge the importance of the Security of lives and property of all Nigerians living in every part of the Country, we strongly condemn and dissociate ourselves from the ethnic profiling being perpetrated by Mr Alex Otti against our brothers from Northern Nigeria doing business at the Umunneochi Cattle Market.”
“This is because the thoughtless move by Alex Otti to forcefully eject the Northern businesses at the Cattle market will have a negative boomerang effect on Igbo traders in the North and across Nigeria.”
“We have observed with grave displeasure that Mr Alex Otti is selectively persecuting Northerners in the Market instead of taking a holistic approach that confronts the criminality going on in the Area.”
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