Metro  

Cattle market at Ogba zoo sparks protests in Edo

Entrance to the zoo in Benin.


Many tourists and fun seekers who visited the popular Ogba Zoo, owned by the Edo State government and managed by a private concern were disappointed in the past few days as a result of the sudden appearance of a cattle market beside the zoo premises.

The market, which The Guardian gathered is unauthorised is directly under the high tension cables with a bold inscription of the public to stay away. The high cable tension is managed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).Some visibly angry funseekers almost clashed with the herdsmen when they confronted them on the authorisation of the market in the location.

Two angry young men who said they came from Europe for relaxation with family members at the zoo were disappointed on Boxing Day as they couldn’t entertain their guests with their prepared meal because of the stench coming from the market.

The Guardian gathered that management of the zoo, which seemed helpless had to close down its restaurant because of the market. Some personnel at the TCN also seemed helpless as they said they were not aware and “when you confront these Fulani herdsmen, they go violent, yet they know that what they are doing is not right”, an employee said.

Manager of the zoo, Andy Ehanire, could not hide his frustration. “This is the absence of regulation, a civilised society is not just about physical infrastructure, it is about human interaction, it is about regulation governing human standards and of course if you are interested tourism, you cannot come and put a cattle market beside the zoo. This period is the time the zoo is exposed to the highest number of visitors from all over the world and we were scrambling to put the zoo in Christmas mood to give a good experience to the visitors and we suddenly saw this. Our Christmas preparation has been put to shame.”

No official of the ministry of environment was ready to make any comment on the development and the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Reginald Okun could not be reached, but the Special Adviser to Governor on Communication and Media Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said he would confirm from the relevant agencies to get the details of the existence of the market in the place.

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Ogba Zoo
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