Officials of Lagos State Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit have confiscated dozens of rams on display for sale in a prohibited area of the state.
The task force had chased the ram sellers, who converged at Ijora-Olopa area, and carted their rams to an unknown detention centre.
The owners of the rams claimed they were unaware that the place was prohibited and also claimed they were not forewarned.
The ram sellers, with seven days left to the Eid-el-Kabir festival, have appealed to Governor Babatunde Fashola to release the rams. They made the appeal, yesterday, in an interview in Lagos.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians in border communities of Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State are buying rams from BeninRepublic barely a week to this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
According to reports, scores of people were seen carrying rams on motorcycles and vehicles into the country through the various routes linking Nigeria with BeninRepublic.
Mr. Azeez Kora, a resident, said yesterday in Kosubosu that the price of ram in Paraque, a neighbouring town in Benin, was lower than what obtained in Nigeria.
He said: “The difference is too much. After the whole expenses from Paraque to Kosubosu, the difference is still reasonable and worthwhile.”
He said that the rams that were being sold for between N45,000 and N50,000 in Nigeria were bought for between N30,000 and N35,000 across the border.
The Ram Sellers Association in Gure in Baruten Local Government Area, said its members were recording low sales following the importation of the rams from the neighbouring country.
Malam Salihu Kafinta, Chairman of the association, said that aside the scarcity of rams, customers were complaining of lack of money.
According to him, traders that used to come from far and near to patronise the Gure ram market were not seen this year.
In Lagos, Mr. Muhammed Mudi, leader of the ram sellers, expressed shock over the rams’ seizure, saying the situation was embarrassing.
Mudi said they were not expecting the officials since they had approached an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, who gave them permission.
Reacting, Mr. Olaide Agboola, Chief Superintendent of Police, who led the team, said the State Ministry of Agriculture had designated some locations for sale of rams in the state.
Agboola said that he had sent some officers to Ijora on Sunday, who gave the ram sellers 24-hour deadline to vacate the place.