By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services, an arm of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, has explained its invasion of donkey skin processing camps across the federation and seizing donkey skin from owners.
The director of the agency, Dr. Olusegun Awoniyi said the Federal Government has made it an offense for anybody to kill a donkey and trade on its skin.
He said the policy was made by the federal government to avoid the animal, which he described as “work animal,” from going into extinction.
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According to Awoniyi, “apart from Nigeria, many countries have placed ban on killing of donkeys and trading on its skin. Nigeria has received a lot of memos from many countries discouraging the killing of donkeys 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 over 2000 processed donkey skin worth over 80 million naira, across the states in the country.
Members of the association from Anambra, Sokoto, Gombe, Kaduna, Bornu, Oyo States and other parts of the federation had in a press briefing in Onitsha, demanded explanations from the federal government,over the invasion of their donkey skin processing camps and seizing their goods.
Spokesman for the association and chairman of Onitsha branch, Mr. Ikechukwu Aniude, alleged that some 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 Rara, Mahuta, Fakai Local Government Area of 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.
“Others 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.”