Palpable fear of epidemic has gripped residents of  Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, following the decomposing body of a middle-aged man which was discovered beside a popular filling station within the Spera-in-deo plaza in the metropolis.

The decomposing body was found last Saturday between the road connecting the filling station and the Spera-in-deo plaza, and had not been evacuated at the time of this report.

The development has forced the filling station, over 50 shops in the Spera-in-deo plaza and other plazas within the area to shut down following the ooze from the decomposing body, while road users have completely avoided the road.

On Monday, some government officials were contacted by shop owners in the area over the situation, but the body was yet to be evacuated at the time of this report.

One of the shop owners in Spera-in-deo plaza, identified simply as Blessing, who sells motor oils,  told Daily Sun that she has lost many customers as a result of the decomposing body.

“For a few days now, I have not been staying in my shop because of this decomposing body. I have lost a lot of money because I can’t do my business as a result of the odour from the dead body.

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“ I have gone to security agencies and some ministries in the state and reported the situation to them, but up till this evening, the body is still lying there”, she stated.

Another business operator within the axis said some people came and collected the sum of N2,000 from each of the shop owners for evacuation of the body and that since yesterday, the money was collected, nothing has been done.

“We paid the sum of N2,000 for evacuation of the body.

“Some officials of the Ministry of Environment came in the afternoon, yesterday, to evacuate the body, but they were there since 1pm”, he stated.

As of 6pm yesterday, the decomposing body was still lying in the area, so business operators within that area could not open their shops.