A lot of butchers in Ekiti State took to the streets to express their protest over the indefinite closure of Abattoirs in the state by the government of the state and the one thousand Naira compulsory tax levied on the butchers per cow slaughtered.
Many anti-riot policemen were present at the abattoir along Ado –Iworoko road. These policemen had earlier shut down the abattoir but were stationed around the area so as to compel the butchers to abide by the current tax regime. Apart from the newly imposed tax of NGN 1000, the butchers will start paying veterinary tax, inspection rate and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) levy.
The protest was spearheaded by Ado Ekiti Local Government Area Butchers’ Association’s Chairman, in person of Alhaji Mustapha Kareem. During the protest, the butchers carried leaves and rendered war songs. It took the intervention of the policemen to prevent them from gaining entry access into the abattoir as they stormed the abattoir as early as 6.30 am.
While speaking about the protest, Alhaji Kareem said the union had previously met with Governor Ayo Fayose and they pleaded with him to reduce the tax to NGN500 but the Governor did not yield to their plea.
He said, “This new tax will kill our business and it will affect the masses because there will be no meat in the market. Can you imagine that if we are paying N1, 000 per cow, the least our members will be paying each month is N26, 000 and this is unacceptable.”
The butchers have threatened to force the abattoir open tomorrow and slaughter cows if the government refuses to yield to their request.