An arrest of four women in Edo State for selling Donkey Meat popularly called “Jaki”, is already generating reactions from Nigerians.
While some of them frowned at the arrest as being unlawful, others said that if there is actually a law in the state which prohibited the consumption of Donkey meat, then the women might have questions to answer.
Prime Business Africa, earlier today reported that four women were arrested in Benin City on Wednesday for selling donkey meat to unsuspecting buyers at the New Benin Market of the State.
It is understood that Consumption and trading in ‘jaki’ as popularly called, is prohibited in Edo State and some parts of the country, although no official reason has been given for such a ban.
It is yet to be confirmed if any of the State’s business or environmental laws prohibit the consumption or dealing on Donkeys for food or for transportation.
However, the reason given by an Edo State official who supervised the arrest of the women was that of safety. He said, “this is an issue of food safety. In Edo State, donkey meat is not approved as one of the meats that we consume but our people still indulge in it. We will take all necessary steps to ensure that we eradicate its consumption in Edo State.”
Reacting to this development, Tony Leigh, who is a stage actor told Prime Business that “there may not necessarily be a Nigerian law prohibiting the eating and sale of Donkeys, but there was a ban placed on meat for a while in the state and if that is anything to go by, the women can be prosecuted. If you read the news there, it’s stated that the state had placed a ban on donkey meat for a while now. So, in that case, they (the sellers) are aware and are guilty as charged. If there wasn’t any ban, that’s another story entirely.”
Also reacting, Dr. Chris Imumolen, said that he can’t really tell if the women should be prosecuted since no one actually know if there is an existing law prohibiting the sale of Donkey meat.
He also said he’s not aware of any health issues related to the consumption of Donkey meat. “I don’t think there has been any negative report regarding consumption of Donkey meat. So traditionally, we have not had any report of it being dangerous to health,” Dr.Imumolen said.
A legal practitioner, Joachim Babatunde Akintayo, who also spoke to Prime Business Africa on the issue said there is no known law that prohibits any kind of meat.
Akintayo, however, said that “since the consumption of donkey meat is a state guideline, they might be prosecuted for the offense because the state guideline prohibits donkey meat consumption because of food safety. “However, it might be against the religious beliefs and moral standing that totally forbids the consumption of such meats.