Butchers at the popular Amansea cattle market have accused the Awka North Council chairman, Chief Cosmos Okonkwo of being responsible for the disappearance of 2 guards and 16 cows kept in a pen in the slaughter.
The butchers said the council chairman was responsible for the missing cows and two men who identified as Ahmed and Usman who were manning the pen. They said he had last week threatened to close down the market for refusal of the butchers to pay revenue to his office, opting to pay straight to the state government.
The Chairman of the Amansea Butchers Association, Mr Christian Nwankwo in a press briefing yesterday said they have for long been intimidated by the council chairman since after the state government sent in a directive that all abattoirs in Anambra State should pay tax to the state government instead of the respective council areas where they are sited.
Nwankwo said, “The council chairman came here last week Thursday in a convoy of eight cars, with police men, vigilante and thugs and beat us up. They beat me and my men and also carted away the sum of N18.7million with which we wanted to pay for some cattle being sent to us from the north.
“We had made a report to the police and were told that the chairman will be contacted about it, but on getting to the market today, we found out that some cattle, 16 in number which we had collected on credit since they have stolen the money we intended to buy some with, and which we were going to slaughter for today had been taken.
“The local government chairman came here and took them away, saying that he have not been paying revenue to his office. We are thinking he should be aware that the state government has directed that taxes from abattoirs be paid to the state instead of local government.”
Nwakwo who had sustained bruises on his face and a swollen mouth from his encounter with the chairman’s security last Thursday said their lives are now in danger as the chairman bent on ensuring that business stopped at the cattle market.
He begged the Anambra State governor to come to their aide, saying that they are aware that a certain individual who owns a private abattoir in the same area was responsible for their travail as he wants the abattoir to be closed down so that his business will flourish.
When our correspondent got in touch with the council chairman, Okonkwo, he scheduled a meeting with journalists, saying that the stories were fabricated and that he would like to state his part, but several hours after, he called to put off the meeting without reason.