From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Crisis in Edo State Practicing Butchers Association, yesterday, degenerated to shooting, with the President of National Butchers Association, Osamede Adun, calling on Commissioner of Police to invite the parties before things get out of hand.
Narrating how the shooting occurred, Sunny Omokaro, private abattoir operator and member of Edo State Vigilante, said he was returning from work when he saw some young men allegedly sent by Akhere Odigie, chairman of the Practising Butchers Association, to invade his abattoir amid shooting into the air.
He said because he was just returning from his vigilante duty at the time and having his gun with him at the time, he also fire into the air in reply and immediately called the divisional police office (DPO) of New Benin Police Station to report the situation, following which policemen were deployed to the scene but they could not calm the situation.
He further disclosed not long after, Odigie, led other boys to his abattoir even as the New Benin DPO also arrived and invited the warring parties to the police station.
“We were all invited to the station but the DPO later allowed Akhere and his boys to go because they are with the state government and I have been kept at the station since morning.
“Akhere is fighting me because I refused to give him money. He said I should pay him for any cow I slaughter. He determines how many cows are killed in Benin and that is responsible for the high cost meat in Edo,” Omokaro said.
Meanwhile, Adun who decried his name being dragged into the crisis, has expressed shock over the development, saying: “When I heard that they are fighting, for the past five to six years I have not been part of them and whether they have such a union in Benin here, we don’t know because I am the national president of the National Butchers Union of Nigeria and we have been in existence for over 50 years.
But Odigie described the allegations as lies and politically motivated.
“They are doing that because they have lost their battle.
We slaughter cows everyday. I just finished from a meeting now,” Odigie said, to debunk the claim that he was not a butcher.
He said his leadership has sanitised the Edo Butchers Association after breaking away from the National Butchers Association.