On Wednesday, November 25, a detached train couch on high speed crushed 47 cows in Osogbo, after the incident, one of the cattle owner, Rabiu Ismail, in this interview alleged that officials of the railway corporation allegedly blackmailed them to give up some of the injured cows as evidence of accident.
My name is Rabiu Ismail, I am one of cow sellers of the Ifesowoap association.
On that very bad day, we got a call from our guys, the one rearing the cows at exactly 3 pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. He said a cargo train passed through the area and after about 30 minutes, one of the coaches detached from the rest of the train and was coming at high speed coindentally, it was about the time the cattle were crossing the rail line back to the ranch and it crushed 47 out of the 55 cattles.
The 47 cows cost about N9,850,000 and we tried to assuage the loss by selling some of the cows, which were still alive to slaughter slab on the spot at very low price but our effort was further frustrated by officials of the Nigeria Railway Corporation.
They insisted that we must release some of the cows which can still be sold to them to prepare a report to their head office as prove of the accident.
With all sense of sincerity, we did not want to release the cows because, first, we have never experienced such issue before and secondly, we were faced with loss in the region of N10 million so our concern was to sell those cattle that suffer damages to slaughter slabs and individuals to minimise our loss.
However, the NRC officials insisted that we must give up some of the cows instead of the dead ones. There was a particular cow valued N200, 000 and we sold it for N80,000 but the NRC officials in company of some personnel of the Nigeria Civil Defense Corps prevented the buyers from paying and took the cow and about seven others away.
We were able to recoup about N450,000 from on the spot sales of the cattle.
We were faced with so many challenges that day, while we were sorting the NRC officials issues, some residents also thronged the scene of the incident and were scampering to take meat home. It was absolutely difficult appealing to them because there were over 10 people at the scene wanting to scamper for meat.
Well, they threatened that we ought to take some of the cattle to their office in Lagos as evidence of the fact that there was an accident. They also said the NRC could sue us for causing the accident and that it will cost the agency about N15 million to hire a crane to clear the rail line, at that point we were speechless and had to give up. So we let go of the cows.
The loss of N10 million is enoumous for our members and we have reached out to the State Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, through the Chairman of Fulani, Bororo/ farmers committee, who held a meeting with us and pledged to deliver our call for help to Mr Governor.
We have written a letter detailing our loss to the Governor and we are hopeful he will help us. Our business has suffered due to the single event. We need the State Government financial aid to enable our business pick up again.
We are also reaching out to the Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Dr Basiru Ajibola, to help us get back to business because the effect of the unfortunate incident is tremendous on us and our means of livelihood.
Vanguard News Nigeria