The Oyo State Government at the weekend allayed the fears of butchers in Ibadanland on the relocation directive to the central abattoir at Amosun Village, assuring that adequate security and transportation systems are in place for the sustenance of peace in the state as well as facilitate the ease of doing business.
The Executive Secretary, Oyo State Bureau of Investment Promotions and Public Private Partnership, Yinka Fatoki, explained that the decision to relocate to the central abattoir at Amosun village, Akinyele Local Government Area was reached after series of consultative meetings and deliberations, which led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and the National Butchers Union of Nigeria, the umbrella body of the butchers.
Fatoki noted that Governor Abiola Ajimobi addressed various issues that were raised before the signing of the MoU, saying the petition written by a few members of the union on insecurity was uncalled for as the government has reassured of adequate security and the MoU signed also addressed security issue.
He said the state government was surprised by the actions of a few disgruntled and recalcitrant members of the butchers union’s resistance to government directives to relocate to the central abattoir after the series of meetings with the governor, stressing that the government will not be deterred with the fabricated security challenges to reverse its decision.
The Executive Secretary pointed out that peace, security and safety is the foundation of the present administration in the state and the interest of the general public supercedes that of a few members of the union, saying that the decision to move all abattoirs in Ibadan to the central abattoir was hinged on sanitary and health importance of the people of Oyo state.
Fatoki disclosed that the State Ministry of Agriculture had unlicensed all slabs or abattoirs in Ibadan for about two years (since 2014) on account of unsanitary circumstances of the major slaughter slabs at Bodija, Aleshinloye and Gege area among others, stressing: “It was on this premise that the state government met several times with the butchers and the chairmen of the 11 Local Government Areas in Ibadanland to discuss the relocation to central abattoir and address issues raised.
“After the discussions, all parties agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that butchers in 11 LGAs of Ibadan should relocate to the central abattoir on the 4th of June 2018. On Monday, June 4, majority of the butchers moved amid fun fare and during the prayer session to commemorate the commencement of operations at the central abattoir, butchers represented by the South West Coordinator of NUBN lauded the state government for the relocation, describing it as a welcome development and that the facility is the best both in Nigeria and Africa. It is now surprising that a few members of the union are proving recalcitrant.
“The present administration being a responsible and responsive one, owes it a duty to protect its citizens against infection and diseases that can arise from unhygienic handling of meat. Hence, the steps to centralize abattoir operations by relocating them to the central abattoir with state of the art facilities that would be coordinated by professional veterinary officers to ensure that hygienic meat is produced for people’s consumption.”
While allaying the fears of the few butchers over insecurity, Fatoki stressed that government will not renege on its promise of sustenance of peace in the state and that adequate security has been put in place at the central abattoir, Amosun Village, warning that government will not treat any individual who is bent of destroying the restored peace in the state with kid gloves.
He said that the facility is expected to create over 1000 jobs, open up the corridors of Amosun village for development and ensure hygienic meat for people’s consumption, noting that this is contrary to the speculation that some butchers would lose their means of livelihood.
Fatoki also affirmed that the state government has pledged to offer microcredit loans to butchers and assist in acquiring meat vans.