From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Chairman of South West Governors’ Forum and Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO) under the leadership of Banji Akintoye, has endorsed the suggestion of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, that Yoruba people should start using chicken and home-grown goats at their social functions, instead of patronising ‘health-threatened’ cows.
This was contained in a statement by the second-in-command to Akintoye, and the Deputy to Alana-in-Council, Wale Adeniran, in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to the group’s Communications Secretary, Maxwell Adeleye, Yoruba people should start developing the ideology of ‘Grow What You Consume’ before the actualisation of Yoruba nation becomes a reality.
The group appealed to Yoruba to stop patronising cow meat and embrace chicken and goat meat in the interest of their personal health and economy of Yorubaland.
“In a statement credited to Akeredolu, at the weekend, the Ondo State governor was reported as having called on South West people to embrace the consumption of chicken and home-grown goats during ceremonies rather than beef in order to prevent capital flight from the region.
“According to him, about N2.5 billion is lost to beef consumption on a daily basis by South West people. Ilana Omo Oodua hereby salute Akeredolu on the statement credited to him in this regard, and we hereby give his call our unalloyed support. We commend the governor for this bold, patriotic and visionary statement, and urge our people to heed the call.
“Ilana Omo Oodua wishes to add that the people of the South West should, in addition to chicken, resort to other sources of protein such as our local goats, our local sheep, fish,snail, rabbit, duck, turkey and grasscutter for ceremonies and daily consumption.
“There are now modern methods for the intensive production of these sources of protein, which we urge the various state governments to support through training workshops and the provision of small-scale loans. The switch to these other sources of protein will not only prevent capital flight, it will create jobs for the teeming population of educated youths who will be engaged in the production and processing of these alternative sources of protein.
“Furthermore, medical experts and nutritionists advise against the consumption of beef, that is, red meat. Red meat is universally recognised as being injurious to human health. Consequently, they advise people should consume the other types of meat named above, which are known as lean meat and which are acknowledged to be more beneficial to human health. We wish to add that cows which are poorly nourished, made to trek thousands of kilometres and, more often than not, diseased can impair the health of our people.”
It called on Yoruba traditional rulers, farmers, butchers, traders, transporters, women associations, youth associations, intelligentsia, students, professionals, religious leaders of all faiths, self-determination and civic organisations, teachers and politicians to join hands to make the rejection of beef happen quickly and immediately across the length and breath of Yorubaland.