The former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has stated that the Nigerian Government asked his government to hands off when 35 decomposing bodies were found in the Anambra River in 2013.
Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, recently stated that over 80 decomposing corpses, including 20 headless ones, as well as countless skeletons were discovered by security operatives during a raid on the forest around the Lokpanta Cattle Market in the Umunneochi axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
Otti made the revelation on Sunday during the second edition of his monthly media chat in Umuahia, the state capital.
However, Peter Obi who was the state governor between 2007 and 2014 and the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the 2023 presidential election, in a statement via X on Thursday, recalled how he faced a similar situation in Anambra State.
Obi commended Otti for taking a bold step against insecurity in the state, adding that the security of lives and property should be the primary responsibility of any government.
He said, “I read the bone-chilling story coming out of Abia State, where over 80 bodies were reportedly recovered around the cattle market, with about 20 headless decomposing bodies. This level of barbarism and extremely cruel acts only reflects how insecure our environment has been.
“It unearths how insecurity has continued to ravage many parts of the country, taking innocent lives and killing the economy. I thank the Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, for taking such a bold step against insecurity in the State. This is highly emulatable.
“I recall facing a similar situation in 2013 as the Governor of Anambra State. I was accompanying President Goodluck Jonathan to an official engagement outside the country when I received the sad report of about 35 decomposing bodies floating on Ezu River, Anambra.
“I had to leave everything to rush back to the State to attend to the situation and ensure that order was restored in the vicinity. Investigation was immediately commenced, with autopsies conducted, before the Federal Government took over the process and asked the State Government to hands off.
“Security of lives and property remains the primary duty of any government and key to any meaningful development we hope to experience as a nation. We must, therefore, prioritise it. I encourage governments at all levels to make more efforts in combating insecurity in the nation.”