Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital yesterday complained of the shutdown of the beef market following the invasion of the popular abattoir at Swali market by cult groups demanding N1,000 before any cow is slaughtered.
It was gathered that the cult groups, identified as Bobos and Greanlanders, were led by a man identified as Daddy Boy and one Frank who was identified as the unit leader of Greanlanders in Swali.
The activities of the groups have been on for over three months in the market. A butcher who pleaded anonymity said the refusal of the transporters conveying cows to the abattoir was making it difficult to get beef, as drivers who transport cows to the market refused to pay the N1, 000 levy and therefore did not take any cow to the market.
It was also gathered that the Swali community, which is known to be peaceful, has become haven for cult related activities and the market has turned into an base for cult groups. The suspected cult groups have partitioned the Swali area for illegal collection of levies and taxes including N5,000 levy imposed on local boat operators.
It was gathered that the movement of the cows by the transporters started after the implementation of the anti-open grazing by the state government. Sources within the Bayelsa State government confirmed knowledge of the Illegal collection of levies.
“These supervising state ministries and the SA security are treating the matter with levity and informing the state governor that all is well. All is not well. These cult boys are threatening us with guns. We are calling on the state governor, the police and the residents to help us. We don’t want to die in the hands of these boys,” a trader said.