Ondo State Government has ordered the immediate closure of a cattle market purportedly opened by a faction of Akure Cattles Dealers Association at Uso, in Owo Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture Otunba Adegboyega Adefarati who gave the order also directed the law enforcement officers to arrest anybody or cattle find in the vicinity of the illegal market.
The commissioner spoke on Thursday at an interactive meeting with the warring factions of the cattle dealers association in his office
According to Adefarati, it was an affront for anybody or group to set up or establish a market of any sort anywhere in the state talk less of a cattle’s market without the prior knowledge and approval of the authority concerns.
He said “In the case of Cattle Market or ranch the Ministry of Agriculture has the sole authority in collaboration with its Lands counterpart”.
The commissioner maintained that setting up an abattoir or cattle’s markets or ranch in the state required some technicalities because of the health and security implications of such actions and not just be done by hunches.
According to him, the state government cannot allow any other agricultural activities at Ogbese and Uso axis already earmarked for large scale farming because of the volatility of the zone.
He said before now the Ogbese to Uso axis was notorious for perennial clashes between farmers and herders, settling up a cattle’s market in a volatile zone would further worsen the security situation in the areas as well as in the state.
On the grievances of the Hausa/Shau cattle dealers’ faction, the commissioner promised that the government would urgently look into it in order to provide enabling environment for cattle business to thrive in the state
Earlier, the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Segun Odusanya, frowned at the action of the Hausa/Shau cattle dealers’ faction, vowing that government would not hesitate to visit its full weight of the laws on them.
According to him because of the health and security to life and property, government had outlawed and prohibited open and illegal abattoir operations in the state.
To ensure standard and in line with the best global best practices Ondo state government has established a modern abattoir with full complement and veterinary offices in almost all the Local Government areas of the state which were well staffed.
Speaking on the essence of the meeting the Director Veterinary Services, Dr Adebayo Ehinmowo, said it was called to provide amicable settlement to the current issue of cattles dealers and market traders.
Apart from the Ministry officials the meeting was attended by the executives of both factions of the Akure Cattle Dealer Association – Yoruba and Hausa/Shau.