Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, the Senator who represented Abia North, has passionately appealed to youths from Umunneochi to soft-pedal over their threat to dismantle the military checkpoint at Lomara junction and open the barricaded Ihube/Isuochi road, if the army authorities fail to do so within seven days of issuing the threat.
In a statement he issued in Umuahia on Thursday, Ohuabunwa said such action will not bring peace to the state, pointing out that it will rather worsen the security situation in that troubled LGA.
It will be recalled that the youths of Umunneochi LGA on Wednesday took to the streets, demanding the dismantling of the army checkpoints in the area, even as they accused the soldiers there of providing cover to criminal herdsmen behind the incessant cases of abductions for ransom going on in the area.
The angry youths further asked the Abia State government to relocate the Regional Cattle Market at Lokpa within seven days from Wednesday or face the consequences, adding that the cattle market has been providing shelter to kidnappers and killer herdsmen who are perpetrating atrocities in the area.
According to them, since the relocation of the market to the area by then Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu now a Senator, the place has known no peace nor progress, but pains, agony and insecurity.
The protest was fueled by the recent abduction of the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Uche, where a ransom of N100 million was given to his abductors before his release on Monday.
However, Ohuabunwa in the statement observed that the youths have genuine reasons to be agitated following the disturbing insecurity in the area and the docility/inaction of the Federal Government.
The Peoples Democratic (PDP) 2023 senatorial candidate for Abia North regretted that at a time when the deteriorating insecurity in the zone should be a matter of concern, the senator presently representing the zone is busy championing a “strange agenda”.
“This incessant abduction for ransom and killings ought to be raised on the floor of the Senate as a matter of urgent national importance, but our Senator is junketing from pillar to post”, he lamented.
Ohuabunwa regretted that instead of drawing the attention of the federal government to the plights of Abia North especially the menace of herdsmen, the zone’s voice at the senate “is obsessed and carried away by selfish political interest”.
Ohuabunwa who was a former Leader, ECOWAS Parliament, decried the sorry-state of affairs in Abia North, wondering how the district that was once represented by reputable and vocal senators “suddenly went voiceless”.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.