Five die in butchers, police clash
Oyo govt shuts Bodija market, condoles with victims
A violent protest by members of the National Union of Butchers over the relocation of their abattoir to a new facility in Ibadan yesterday left five persons dead and many others injured.
Also, a police station inside the market was razed by the protesters, while five vehicles parked inside the station were equally burnt, three others outside the premises were completely vandalized. Worried by the move, the state government has ordered immediate closure of the market until further notice.
Trouble started when security operatives from the state police command, deployed to enforce an injunction to seal off the Bodija abattoir were confronted and challenged by the butchers leading to the mayhem that grounded business activities in the entire market.
The government, having completed a modern abattoir at the Amosun village, Akinyele local government area, had ordered all the butchers within the capital city to relocate to the new facility. It had also withdrawn the license of all existing abattoirs in the capital city.
The refusal of some of the butchers to comply led to the government securing a court injunction sealing off the Bodija, Aleshinloye and Sango abattoirs but butchers at the Bodija abattoir were said to have tore off the court order and continued to ply their trades at the market.
The Southwest leader of the butchers union, Mr. Biliaminu Eleshinmeta, urged the state government to investigate those behind the crisis, assuring that only hoodlums hiding under the guise of been members of the association would kick against the MoU signed with the government.
The chairman, Bodija market association, Mr. Ismail Jimoh on behalf of the other traders in the market appealed to the government to temper justice with mercy and ensure that the market is re-opened as soon as possible, so that the traders will not be deprived of their livelihood.
He said all other traders have been condoning the butchers over the years as they have proved over time not to use the portion of the market allocated to them, but would rather display their meat by the roadside.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in the violent protest staged by some butchers in Bodija, vowing that the perpetrators will not go scot-free.
The state government through the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, while condoling with the families said that the loss of lives through the mayhem was unfortunate, sad and highly regrettable.
The Executive Secretary, Bureau of Investment Promotion and Public Private Partnership, Mr. Yinka Fatoki, explained that the need for a central abattoir started during the Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala led government and continued by the present administration had yielded massive result over the years until the reported controversy.
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