The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti has vowed to bring the criminals to justice who are involved in the killing police officers at Ariria market in Aba. He rose to the occasion and made this promise while speaking with traders of the market on Thursday. July 27th, 2023.
Ariaria had become deserted after two policemen were murdered by some yet to be identified gunmen on Tuesday, July 25th at Faulks Road, leading into the market and their guns taken away by their assailants.
The tragic incident involved the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chimezie Ukaegbu, who was on official assignment to Ariaria Market and got caught up in the ordeal.
Even though the commissioner escaped unhurt, one of the policemen attached to him and another by the roadside were gunned down by the criminals, who promptly took away their guns and escaped.
The emergency situation, compounded by the security operation in the area, led to the traders staying away from their shops and residents locking up themselves in their compounds to avoid being molested.
Addressing pockets of the traders, who thronged the market, Governor Otti, reassured them that the presence of the security agencies was for their protection. He warned them to be of good behaviour and cooperate with the security men as they search for the criminals.
“It’s unfortunate that some criminals attacked policemen here two days ago, and in response, there was a reprisal attack. Unfortunately, reprisal attacks as I have often said always end up with the wrong people because the criminals would probably have run away.”
“We must track down the criminals.”
“Having noticed that you closed your shops in fear, I have come to reassure you that you shouldn’t fear. Please open your shops.”
“Any security man you see, whether police, army, DSS or civil defence, they have come to give you protection not to attack you. So, we will continue in the search for the criminals because we will not allow criminals to distract us.”
“We have a lot of work that we’re doing already and no criminal would be stronger than government, we will track them down. We will also use this opportunity to warn anyone that wants to get involved in criminal activities. We’re going to deal with them, we will flush them out.”
“So, go about your lawful business, open your shops, you’ll be protected and no one will molest you,” Governor Otti assured.”