Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti says the state government found 20 headless bodies and countless human skeletons around Lokpanta cattle market.
The market is located in the Umunneochi axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
Otti spoke on Sunday during the monthly media parley organised at the Government House, Umuahia.
The governor said security intelligence had shown that the ransom being paid for kidnapped victims was dropped off around the cattle market and an investigation was conducted.
“What we saw was shocking,” Otti said.
“In less than 48 hours, we recovered over 80 dead bodies around the cattle market, and we recovered 20 headless, decomposing bodies which include adults and children.
“We recovered uncountable skeletons of people who had been killed and left to decompose still around that axis.”
Otti also said different forms of crime such as gun running, prostitution, narcotics trade and heavy use of substances were prevalent in the cattle market.
He said investigations were ongoing to ascertain the people involved in the crime.
He said the state government had changed the cattle market into a general market and issued a directive for the market to be a non-residential daily market, which would open from 6 am to 6 pm.
“Now some persons said that we had sent away the Hausa community living in Abia, but remember when we saw the skeletons, we did not know which skeletons belonged to either Hausa or Yoruba,” he said.
“The spread of the false information led to a northern group issuing a quit notice to Igbo living in the north to leave and come back to east.”
The governor said the resolve of the state to make the cattle market a daily market was not targeted at any particular ethnic group in the country, but was aimed at revamping the security architecture of the market and its host community.
He added that his administration is working towards ensuring that the people of Abia celebrate the Yuletide in peace.