Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Butchers at the Bodija Abattoir, in Ibadan, Oyo State, who were ordered to relocate to the new ultramodern Ibadan Central Abattoir at Amosun village in Akinyele Local Government Area, have lost about N300 million in the last one week.
This was disclosed by a secretary at the Bodija abattoir, Adam Babatunde, in an interview with journalists in Ibadan, at the weekend.
He said many of the butchers at Bodija refused to move to the central abattoir because it belonged to a private company, adding that at Bodija abattoir, an average of 500 cows were being slaughtered daily and the butchers always paid N1,000 slaughtering fee on each cow, which is N500,000 daily and N3 million in six days.
Babatunde said the slaughtering fee has been increased to N3,000 on each cow at the new central abattoir, saying three suits are still pending in court on the relocation order.
He said: “This project started during the administration of a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, it is owned by one of his (Akala) friends. When the current governor, Abiola Ajimobi, came to power in 2011, that man went to him and he refused because it is a private company.
“But, we were surprised that when Akala moved to All Progressives Congress (APC), the man went to Akala to beg Ajimobi. They agreed on a sharing formula that is why they want to implement it now; mind you, Ajimobi has refused to implement it since 2011 when he came.
“We rejected the move then.
Then, on Friday, some people came with a court order that they wanted to seal the abattoir, we called our lawyer, Femi Johnson, who spoke to them, he quoted the law for them and they all left and told us that they were sent to the market to seal it. We were surprised that they came early morning of Sunday and demolished the abattoir.
“Later, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Bodija called us (butchers) and said Commissioner of Police wanted to see us. Some of our members, including Mr. Najeem Balogun, Mr. Idowu Adebayo and Mr. Ismail Iware went there. They were later detained and charged to court on Tuesday. They were arraigned at Magistrate Court. They said they did not commit any offence and we bailed them.
“The case was adjourned to July 16, 2018. The court told us to go back and continue our businesses. The police even denied that they were not the one that came to demolish the abattoir.
“There are two other cases that are still pending in the court.
The one called by the state government and the private company against the butchers in Court 2 at High Court, it was mentioned on Tuesday and it was adjourned till October 24. The court said the status quo should be maintained, that we should go back to our various locations. That all parties should remain calm till the day.
“There is another case instituted by the butchers in Egbeda Local Government against the government, that one is in Court 4 at High Court, it was mentioned on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, it was adjourned till October 25, 2018.
The court told us to go to our respective locations to do our business. But we were surprised that the police could come despite the fact that there are three cases on this matter in courts.
“We have lost over N300 million since they first came to seal the market on Friday, June 22, 2018. They should allow the court to decide. Many cows at the market have been taken away by the police and they are still in their custody. Many people have been affected.”