Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Butchers at the Maiduguri Central Abattoir, in Borno state, under the aegis of Butchers Union of Nigeria, BUN, have urged the public to disregard information that it is providing cover for members of the Boko Haram sect.
The union was reacting to a recent statement credited to the Gwoza Christian Community Association, GCCA, in which it referred to the abattoir as a breeding ground for Boko Haram.
The GCCA went on to accuse governor Kashim Shettima of donating N25 million to the butchers and by extension to members of the sect.
Spokesman for the Christian group, Ayuba J. Bassa, noted that the generosity of the governor was coming at a time when Christians in Gwoza were being killed by the Boko Haram insurgents whose breeding ground was the very abattoir in which the governor was making such investment.
The butchers, however, denied having any member of the dreaded sect in the fold and described the statement “as malicious and baseless”.
In a statement jointly signed by the union’s chairman, Abubakar Ngula, the secretary general, Stephen David and the Sarkin-Pawa (Chief butcher), Mala Modu, the union said butchers in the abattoir comprise of people from all background and religions and that such comments were capable of injuring the peace of the abattoir and the state in general.
David who spoke on behalf of the others said if his union had any sympathy for Boko Haram, he as a Christian would have been killed long ago.
“I hail from Gwoza, precisely from Bayan Dutse, Gava Nbuwan-mission, and I am Christian by faith. If the abattoir is a breeding ground for Boko Haram, then I wouldn’t have been alive today, talk more of me becoming the Secretary General of the Butchers’ Union. As such we call on the general public to disregard such assertion,” he said.
As for the donation, it explained that the N25 million given to the association recently by Borno state government was a loan.
“For the public not to be misled, the truth is that Borno State Governor has never given the sum of N25 million to butchers from Gwoza at the Abattoir.
However, the Borno state Government has out of its magnanimity granted a loan of N25 million to the National Butchers Union at the Maiduguri abattoir with the aim of promoting small scale entrepreneurship”, the union stated.