Police arrest 4 cows in Lagos
From PM News,
Officials of the Lagos State Government in conjunction with the police taskforce have arrested four cows and 37 butchers for operating at an illegal slaughter slab at Otto Awori area of Badagry, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, with the taskforce, stormed the area on Tuesday and arrested the cows and suspects.
Four vans of butchered meat were also carted away to the Taskforce office at Alausa where the suspects would be arraigned in court. The four cows were taken to Agege Abattoir.
Chairman of the illegal butchers, Adewunmi Olaseun, said they normally slaughter about 20 cows on daily basis, adding that they also pay N18,000 levy to officials of the Lagos State Government and N5,000 to the Otto Awori Local Council Development Area, LCDA, on weekly basis.
He said the association did not know that they were operating at an illegal slaughter slab.
Olaseun said the meat being sold by the butchers was not contaminated, stressing that “the fact is that we also consume the meat at times. So, there is nothing wrong with the meat. We consume it. Our wives also consume it, so it is safe for consumption. We have the receipts of the payment made to the government in our office.”
When asked why they attacked government officials with charms, he said: “The charms on us were to protect us against armed robbers. We deal with money and we can’t allow robbers to kill us just like that. So, it is meant for protection against robbers.”
Another butcher, Ogundele Opeloyeru, said they had been operating in the area for the past 15 years, while corroborating his colleague’s statement that they pay weekly levy to the state government and Otto Awori LCDA.
“We are not aware that we operate illegal slaughter slab,” he said.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dr. Yakub Bashorun said government has declared zero tolerance for unwholesome meat distribution in the state, lamenting that those who operate illegal slaughter slabs do so without obtaining license from the government.
“They don’t have veterinary doctors to ascertain the health status of the animals before slaughtering them. They have been creating nuisance and we have to dislodge them. Ignorance is no excuse. They know they are operating illegal abattoir,” he stated.
Bashorun appealed to Lagosians not to patronize illegal slaughter slabs to purchase meat as such meat was not healthy for consumption.
He said those arrested would be arraigned in court and that they would be made to face the music to serve as deterrent to others.
Credit: Kazeem Ugbodaga