By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Butchers from across the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 14 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), in Ibadan on Thursday alerted of an imminent fresh crisis between them and the Hausa cattle rearers in Oyo State over the relocation of all butchers in Ibadan to Amosun village in Akinyele local government area of the state.
The Butchers raised the alarm at a press conference held in collaboration with Veteran Organization for Human Rights Initiative (VOHRI) in Ibadan.
Speaking through the Chairman of National Union of Butchers (NUB), Aare Latosa LCDA, Alhaji Ganiyu Olobo supported his colleagues from Egbeda Local Government Area, Alhaji Mukaila Otedola; Ibadan North LGA, Mr. Kehinde Oladejo; Ido LCDA, Mr. Alidu Tajudeen; Akinyeke LGA, Alhaji Oroyinyin Adeleke; Ibadan South West, Mr. Adebayo Wasiu and Mr. Sheriff Iyanda , the butchers declared that the relocation of all butchers in Ibadan to Amosun village which falls under Akinyele LGA will ignite fresh crisis between them and the cattle rearers in the state.
According to the Alhaji Ganiyu Olobo, the relocation would cause more harm than good if allowed to stay, saying, “Amosun village is very close to Akinyele town where a large number of Hausa cattle rearers settled. “
“The proposed abattoir at Amosun village is close to Akinyele town where a large number of Hausa cattle rearers have settled. It was the killing arising from the clash between butchers and Hausa cattle traders in 2000 that made late Alhaji Lam Adesina to relocate the Hausa cattle traders to Akinyele town.” he said.
The Butchers while emphasizing that the closeness of Akinyele town and Amosun village will no doubt lead to fresh crisis among the butchers and Hausa cattle rearers, called Governor Abiola Ajimobi ” to prevail on the matter and allow butchers to continue with their businesses in their various locations”.
“This illegal relocation order given to the butchers will ignite fresh crisis. This is a bad omen and a security threat to the state, especially when electioneering period is at hand.”
Recalling that it was the year 2000 clash between the butchers and the Hausa cattle traders that made the former of the governor of the state, late Chief Lam Adesina to relocate the Hausa cattle rearers to Akinyele town, the butchers lamented that the relocation being championed by some elements in the union in connection with a private firm will ignite fresh crisis due to the closeness of Akinyele and Amosun, the proposed abattoir.
Describing their relocation as handiwork of some elements reportedly using the name of the state governor to coerce butchers in Ibadan, the butchers said Governor Ajimobi during their meeting with him gave an order that butchers are free to operate anywhere that is convenient for them but that they were surprised that some leaders and the private firm are now forcing the butchers in Ibadan to relocate to Amosun village, the order they said was in contrary to the agreement reach with the governor.
The Butchers maintained that apart from “security threat and untold hardship the relocation will cause”, many youths and many traders will loose their sources of income due to the distance of the village to other areas, saying, “many other petty traders who receive their livelihood because of the presence of the butchers in their locality will definitely lose their job and source of livelihood.”
” It should be noted that a good number of youths are employed at the various local government abattoir and this brings employment and source of income to them. Relocation will cause unemployment and by extension youth restiveness. As a result of unfavorably location of the Amosun village abattoir, there will be increase in brigand robber, kidnapping and serious threat to life of both the butchers and buyers. The buyers would have to go extra miles before procuring beef, transport fee will increase and price of beef will also increase forcing untold hardship to the buyers. “
The Butchers added, “It will therefore be unspeakable, unconstitutional and illegal for a group of people to arrogate to themselves what do not belong to them hijacking the function of a local government and by extension function of the state government to build a private abattoir in partnership with corrupt members of the National Union of Butchers, Ibadan chapter and later used the good name of our governor to make a relocation orders concerning other members of the butchers to go to Amosun village.We therefore appeal that this illegal order should quashed”.
VOHRI Lead Activist, Comrade Sakirullah Ayobami and General Secretary, Comrade Adekunle Abimbola stressed “that though private ownership of abattoir is allowed, coercion of butchers to move to the village is illegal”, saying, “building of slaughter houses, slabs is one of the functions of local government. Private owned abattoir is allowed but coercion of butchers to operate in a privately owned abattoir is illegal and unconstitutional and runs contrary to the fourth schedule 1 (e) of the local government functions. It is constitutional for each local government to establish abattoir”.
“Relocation order was a verbal expression and did not come from the state government but evil machinations of some disgruntled elements. Consequent upon intimidation, anxiety, serious threat to life and violation of the fundermantal human rights of the butchers in Ibadan occasioned by the fake relocation order issued by the aggrieved members of butchers in persons of Alhaji Azeez Alagunfon, Biliaminu Eleshimeta, Kehnide Tewogbade, Fatal Alagunfon, Alhaji Saliu, Alhaji Latest Adegoke and others.
“We are therefore appealing to you sir to use your food orifices to investigate thoroughly for justice to be earned. The action of the above-mentioned runs contrary to the fundermantal rights of the people by virtue of section 33, 34,36,39 and 40 of the constitution of Nigeria, 2010 as amended. This illegal partnership with the owner of abattoir at Amosun village which resulted in the blanket order given to butchers in all the eleven local government in Ibadan to relocate is an aberration of the fourth schedule 1 (e) of functions of local government”.