Perpetrators Of Bodija Crisis Will Be Prosecuted, Ajimobi Vows
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has vowed that the perpetrators of the Bodija Market crisis will be prosecuted and made to rehabilitate the burnt police station.
The Governor affirmed this during his visit to the market, the burnt police station, and the Central Abattoir at Amosun, in company with Mr Abiodun Odude, the Commissioner of Police in the state.
He said that his administration would not tolerate hooliganism and thuggery, noting that government would not fold its hands and allow some dissidents to destroy its seven years labour of restoring peace and safety in the state.
“Let me assure you that the perpetrators of this violence will not go unpunished and they will rehabilitate the police station; people must be allowed to pay for their deeds. We did not destroy anybody’s stall or shop but government’s slaughter slabs. Or is there any crime in destroying what is not useful for the government again? Ajimobi wondered.
“We have not stopped them from selling meat at the Bodija market but no more slaughtering of cows there due to the poor hygienic condition. There was also resistance when butchers were moved from Gege to Bodija, so the resistance is not new but the crisis and violence were unnecessary,” he stated.
Governor Ajimobi condoled with the traders and people at the market and assured them that the government may reopen the market soon after due consultation with the security agencies, as well as the community, market, and local government leaders.
According to him, an enemy of development and progress will condemn the action of the government to relocate the butchers to the central abattoir.
“We are talking about the general health of the people and not just the minute section in the market as every citizen of the state has one or two things to do with the Bodija Market, Ajimobi noted.
“The decision to have a central abattoir for the Ibadan butchers predated my administration and we saw the need to relocate the butchers as well. We started discussing with them since five years ago before we eventually relocated them this year.”
The governor explained that the management of the Central Abattoir comprises the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ibadan, the National Butchers Union of Nigeria (NUBN), and the Oyo State Government among others in line with the Public Private Partnership arrangement.
He said that the Central Abattoir at Amosun village is an ultra-modern facility equipped with the state-of-the-art facility, including pipe borne water, animal health centre, and police post among others.
Ajimobi maintained that the health condition of the people remains one of the government priorities, while proper hygiene should practice in an environment where meat is being produced for millions of people.
He recalled that the Bodija Abattoir was closed last year due to the poor hygienic situation of the facility where cow dungs were left unpacked for months.
“The market was closed in 2017 for three days because of the sanitation implications,” the governor said. “There was unhealthy treatment of cattle blood, offensive odours, unhygienic spread of meat, air pollution due to gaseous emission from the cow dung and the government was concerned about the likely epidemic disease from flies spread.”
Responding, the leader of all the traders at the market, Mr Sumaila Jimoh (Babaloja of Bodjia), appreciated the governor for the swift action in quenching the crisis.
He, however, appealed to Ajimobi to temper justice with mercy and reopen the market as soon as possible.
Jimoh admitted that while the Bodija market people are peace loving, some butchers are always fomenting trouble even with the traders at the market.