Cattle dealers protest alleged killing of herdsman, cows in Abia
Cattle dealers at the Umuchieze cattle market in Umunneochi council area of Abia State on Sunday and Monday blocked the Enugu–Port Harcourt expressway over alleged killing of a herdsman and some cows.
Suspected gunmen were alleged to have invaded an area where the herdsmen rear their cows and killed a herder and some cows.
About sixty cows were alleged to have been gunned down by the assailants
The dealers felt that they were being targeted for persecution and their businesses being grounded for some discriminative purposes.
One of them told Nigerian Sketch that they have been victims of persistent unprovoked attacks, and the government has not responded to their appeal for protection.
The protesters made bonfires and used trailers to barricade both lanes of the expressway. The cattle dealers urged the federal government to come to their aid.
The situation caused heavy traffic build up in the area as over 200 motorists and passengers were stranded.
Attempts by some soldiers and policemen to clear the barricade failed as the protesting youths added some big sticks to the bonfire. They later cleared a small part of the barricade to allow a military patrol van drive through the area.
Some motorists had to take different routes to their destinations, using Okigwe junction and diverting to the Uturu–Akaeze road from where they got back to Ishiagu junction on the expressway.
Police authorities in the state have not said anything regarding the incidence as of the time this story was published.
However, the Abia State government had last week demolished suspected criminal hideouts at the cattle market.
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