Vanguard (Lagos)

19 August 2014

Nigeria: Bush Meat Sellers Protest Over Low Patronage

Ibadan — SCORES of bush meat sellers, yesterday, marched to Governor Abiola Ajimobi's office at the Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, complaining of low patronage due to the outbreak of Ebola disease.

The women under the aegis of Bushmeat Sellers Association lamented that since the announcement that the deadly disease could be caused by eating bush meat, spell had been cast on their sales.

Speaking on behalf of the association, Alhaja Risikat Odeyemi, Iyalode, Bushmeat Association, Oyo State, said it was strange that bush meat which had hitherto been taken as a special delicacy should now be seen as a poison.

She said, "our meats do not have any ebola virus. We don't know why people should just be peddling rumour that would be injurious to other people. This is not good at all. They have spoilt our business without any good reason. What we heard is that the disease was contacted through the river. Why should they just start trying to be so unfair".

They said before the announcement, a grass cutter was being sold between N2,000 and N4,000 and the same thing goes for antelope and other animals. But, now they regretted that there are no sales again, adding, "We normally stand by the roadside to invite prospective buyers. But now when we call them to buy bush meat, they always reply us saying, "ebola". It is the same meat we have been eating and nothing has happened to us."

Their visit to the governor's office, she added, was to appeal to him to help us dispel the rumour that bush meat causes Ebola.

At press time, the governor was yet to attend to them and many of the bush meat sellers sat clumsily at the entrance of the gate because the security men at the gate did not allow them to move closer to the governor's office.

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