Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has explained that the government decided to demolish the Oginiba abattoir, popularly known as “Slaughter Market” because of incessant cases of kidnapping, armed robbery, rape activities within the market.
It would be recalled that the state government had on Thursday demolished the market after relocating to the Mgbuosimini area of Port Harcourt, a development that sparked reactions.
Wike, however, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media Kelvin Ebiri, said anyone giving religious or ethnic colouration to the demolition of the slaughter market located at Trans -Amadi Industrial layout in Obio-Akpor council, does not mean well for Rivers State and the country.
Wike stated that besides the demolished slaughter being a haven for criminal elements, its location at the Trans-Amadi Industrial Area is now considered inappropriate in terms of the State government’s urban renewal policy.
The Rivers State governor disclosed that over the year a large cache of weapons were amassed by criminal elements operating from the demolished slaughter. He expressed optimism that with the demolition , residents of Oginiba will now heave a sigh of relief from the activities of criminals.
He stated that it is mischievous for anyone to insinuate that the demolition is targeted at any particular ethnic or religious group. According to him, there are several other slaughter markets like the ones in Eliozu, Rukpokwu, Ogbogoro that are still functional and have not been converted to haven for crime and criminality.
“So anybody bringing religious or ethnic coloration doesn’t mean well for the people of the state and the country. And I am not going to be perturbed; I am not going to be cowed and also I am not going to be blackmailed by anybody.”
Governor Wike stated that the State government has already commenced the construction of a modern abattoir , fitted with state of the art equipment in Mgbuosimini, Rumueme of Obio-Akpor council. And the new abattoir has the capacity to slaughter 400 cattle as well as 1500 goats and sheep per day.
The governor said the State government will develop the site of the former Oginiba Slaughter market to suit its urban renewal policy. He commended the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Task Force on Illegal Trading And Parks for successfully overseeing the demolition exercise.
“I want to thank the Ministry of Agriculture and the task force, they are doing a beautiful job and I have directed that they should start carting away all the debris. We will fence it immediately so that by the time we are ready for another development here, people will appreciate what we have done.”