Fish sellers in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, were smiling home with increased profits due to sudden demand for their product, following the mysterious death of 20 cows in Lokoja recently and the advice from the Kogi State Government to members of the public to shun consumption of beef for at least one week.
A visit to the old market in Lokoja on Sunday, by our reporters noted that five pieces of fresh fish which used to cost between N2,000 and N2,500 has gone up to N3,000 and N3,500, depending on the size and quality.
Some of the fish sellers that spoke with our Correspondent confirmed what they described as the “slight increase” in the price of product but attributed it to the unfortunate development that happened to the affected cows.
It would be recalled that kogi State Government had advised residents in the state against consuming cow meat for at least one week, following 20 cows said to have mysteriously died in Lokoja.
The Director of Veterinary Services, Kogi Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Salau Tarawa, who gave the advice at a news conference in Lokoja on Thursday,said the advice became necessary in view of the possibility that the deceased cows might have been poisoned with substances while grazing.
Tarawa, who noted that though beef from some of the cows were taken to markets in Osara, Ajaokuta, Obajana, Kotonkarfe and to Kakanda for sale to unsuspecting members of the public, assured that the that of Lokoja had been recalled while efforts were on to do same in other areas.
According to the Director, the ministry is collaborating with security agencies to bring the herders for questioning.
Also commenting on the issue, the Head, Agro Rangers Unit,Kogi State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Bayode Emmanuel, said the deceased cows were discovered in Lokoja.
“The cows emerged from the back of the state’s Secretariat complex where they had gone to graze. All of a sudden, they started behaving funny, slumped and died within minutes.
“Upon interrogation, the herder said he was coming out with the cows after grazing when the incident happened,’’ he said.
Emmanuel assured that the NSCDC would investigate the development thoroughly to ascertain where the dead cows had grazed, with a view to preventing reoccurence and possible sale.