By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
The Federal Government has banned the killing of donkey and trading of donkey skin in Nigeria to avoid the animal going into extinction.
This was disclosed by an official of Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, Dr Olusegun Awoyini, while reacting to the alleged invading of donkey skin processing camps across the country and seizure of over 1,600 pieces of donkey skin belonging to members of the Dried Meat Preservers Association of Nigeria.
The members of Dried Meat Preservers Association of Nigeria, had in a press briefing in Onitsha attended by its members from Sokoto, Gombe, Kaduna, Borunu and Oyo State, demanded from the Federal Government to explain to them why the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, agents of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, are invading their donkey skin processing camps and seizing their goods, asking if it is an offense in Nigeria for them to do the business.
They also alleged that some particular group of people wanted to hijack their business from them through Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services after the people had tried without success to hijack the business from them.
The association equally alleged that apart from the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, invasion of their camps, almost all the security agencies, are now involved in seizing their goods and extort different amounts of money from them.
However, reacting further, Dr Awoyini said that it is an offence to kill donkey in Nigeria. What they are talking about is Federal Government policy.
“Am a small worker, I don’t have the power to seize anybody’s goods, a letter was written by the Inspector General of Police to the State Commissioners of Police to make sure that the places they are talking about are searched and sealed.
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“Police will actually call the organization responsible to follow them, a few people have called me like the way did and i told them that we were sent by our bosses to do a job, the association should go to Abuja and meet our bosses, they will listen to them, it is a Federal Government policy issue.
“Is not possible for a poor worker like me to walk into somebody’s business premises to seize his goods without authority from above, the trade they are doing is illegal trade, they have been warned, but they ignored the warnings, that is why the government decided to seize their goods.
“Is Federal governments policy, is not only in Nigeria the seizure is being made, other countries wrote a lot of Memos and sent to Nigeria, so is not my issue please, they should go to Abuja, they will get all they want from the people that made the policy.”