By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, has explained its invasion of donkey skins processing camps across the federation and seizing the same from owners.
The Director of the agency, Dr. Olusegun Awoyini, said, “it is now an offense against the law for anybody to kill donkey and trade on its skin, it is Federal Government policy, not Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, we are just servants sent on an errand.
He said the policy was made by the Federal Government to avoid the animal, which he describes as work animals, going into extinction.
“Apart from Nigeria, many countries have placed a ban on the killing of donkey and trading on its skin, Nigeria has received a lot of Memos from many countries discouraging the killing of donkey and trading on its skin or meat.
Dr. Awoniyi disclosed this while reacting to the alleged invasion of donkey skin processing camps of Dried Meat Preservers Association of Nigeria, DMPAN, and seizing of their over 2000 processed donkey skin worth over 80 million naira.
The members of the association from Anambra Sokoto, Gombe Kaduna, Bornu, Oyo States of the federation had in a press briefing in Onitsha, demanded explanations from the Federal government the reason behind Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, invasion of their donkey skin processing camps, and seizing their goods.
A spokesman for the association and Chairman of the Onitsha branch, Mr. Ikechukwu Aniude, alleged that some particular group of people wanted to hijack their business through Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services.
“Apart from the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, invasion of our camps, almost all the security agencies, are now involved in seizing our goods and extorting different amounts of money from our members across the federation.
“Some of the places our goods were seized are in Rara, Mahuta, Fakai Local Government Area Kebbi State, 1600 pieces of donkey skin were seized from two of our members on June 26, 2020, and taken to the Divisional Police Station in Mahuta Koko Zuru road in Kebbi State and two of our members Hope Abumen and Christian Nwanya were detained there for three days because they followed them to know the destination of their goods.
“Other places our goods are seized are Kaduna, Bornu, Sokoto and Oyo State, while security agents extort various amounts of money from us starting from Sokoto to Nsukka Enugu State.”