One person has been killed in Umuahia Timber market along Ahiaeke road in Abia State.
It was gathered that the trouble started when traders were asked to pay an annual levy of N18,000 and they bluntly refused to agree to such terms imposed by the Abia State Internal Revenue Board, Abia State Government.
Thereby the state revenue board ordered the traders who refused to pay the levy should close down their shops.
During the argument, the vigilantes shot one of the traders identified as ‘Indomie’, who later died while 5 others sustained injuries.
It was this action of the vigilante that propelled the traders who later retaliated by burning the office and vehicles belonging to the local guards.
Meanwhile, Abia State Government has reacted to the crisis, by condemning the destruction of the Abia Vigilante Services Office and the Timber Market.
In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, asking the police to commence an investigation.
Meanwhile, the government has directed the officers and men of Abia Vigilante Service to withdraw from the market, while the leadership of the market has been enjoined to assist the police to identify the arsonists.
The statement read, “The impunity of burning buildings and other public institutions must stop forthwith, as arson remains a very serious crime against the state and humanity, which attracts severe consequences under our laws.
The government will promptly discipline any Abia Vigilante Service personnel who harasses or intimidates citizens.”