If you went out to buy beef in Taraba state’s capital Jalingo, you may run into an Obinna instead of a Sule. Igbos are gradually turning butchers and meat sellers as the ongoing Fulani strikes rolls on. But some Hausa butchers said they would resist the incursion into what they say is traditionally their trade.
The above is from a report by Taraba Facts.
Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Taraba State chapter, had vowed to resist the state’s plan to ban open cattle grazing in the state. The cattle rearers vowing to shut down the state have embarked on strike but Igbos have reportedly taken over the business to ease the scarcity of beef in the state.
Two major abattoirs in Jalingo and other livestock activities across the state have been shut down as a result of the strike.
The association, while protesting in Jalingo, vowed that if the state Assembly refuses to withdraw the bill, there would be total closure of livestock activities for one week across the state.
The Hausa-Fulanis pulled cows out of the market, thereby causing meat scarcity but “smart” Igbos have come to the rescue.
The report on tarabafacts.com.ng reads further:
KR learnt that some Igbos have since discovered they could do the business as well. One of the beef sellers, Emeka, said he wasn’t new in the trade. He said, ” I have been selling beef long before this strike but only that my patronage has increased with their action. I’m planning to open new outlet and collect all their customers. “
Like Emeka, Mrs. Nwabueze Kate told KR that she plans on switching from selling food stuff to beef selling. She noted that all she needed was a stall and big freezers to preserve the meat. Kate, a mother of four, said she is excited by the prospect of becoming, as she puts it, a “nama seller.”
A new phenomenon too is that locals are also inching into the cow meat selling vocation. Lidani Augustine is from Karim Lamido and a Wurkum by tribe. He is an upcoming beef merchant. He told KR that meat selling is not the exclusive preserve of the Hausa. He said, “I switched to selling beef last month even before this crisis. I was in Wukari to see my friend. Over there, all the meat is sold by Jukun boys. I told him I’m interested and he showed me how. Now I’m in the abbatoir each day. I will continue to sell the meat.”
Meanwhile, some Hausa beef sellers who spoke to KR said it was not fair for others to take over their business. One of the traders who gave his name as Sani said he would defend the trade. He said, “we are only on strike. Why should anyone want to take our business?”
But a community leader of the butchers, Ado Tafida, told KR that himself and other butchers are soliciting for understanding from their customers. He said, ” this is an unfortunate development. Some of our members have even threatened they would start selling because the economy is biting. But we appeal for understanding as we are also losing money but we have to obey orders.”