The Oyo State government has shut down the popular Bodija market in Ibadan following the burning down of a police station by butchers protesting relocation to a central abattoir at Amosun Village, Akinyele.
The butchers said they rejected the state government’s decision to relocate them to the new site because of the new charge of N3,000 tax on any cow slaughtered inthe abattoir.
Beforethe closure of the market, there were sporadic shootings at the market and its environs.
The Aare Laatosa Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Chairman, Mr. Adekunle Oladeji, said the closure is to prevent loss of lives and property of the citizenry, adding that it is also to guard against escalation of the violence in the market to other parts of the state.
Oladeji said that security agencies have been intimated about the situation in the market to maintain law and order.
He urged the people to be law abiding, warning that anyone found wanting will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
On Wednesday, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola said the state government has constituted a task force to enforce the butchers’ relocation to the central abattoir at Amosun Village, Akinyele. The task force comprises members of the Nigeria Police, Civil Defense Corps, DSS, Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, Physical Planning and Bureau of Investment Promotions.
Mr. Abimbola reiterated that the government decided to relocate the abattoirs in Ibadan to curb the unhealthy process of slaughtering of animals, selling of dead, sick and unwholesome animals in various markets, backyard slaughter slabs and many contraptions and make-shift slaughter houses in unhealthy environment with obnoxious practices.
He said the state government in partnership with the private sector established a 3000 per day capacity mechanized slaughter facility at Amosun village, Akinyele LG for the slaughtering f animals in Ibadan.
The Attorney General said that the government regretted that after giving the Butchers four years to wind up and paying no taxes, the Ministry of Agriculture observed that some unscrupulous persons among the Butchers Union in Oyo State, rather than wind up, were in fact establishing new slaughter locations in unhygienic environment with no certification of government, no veterinary presence for inspection of animals for slaughter, nor approval of the said abattoirs by relevant authorities of government.