September 23, 2021

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How cow meat remains taboo in this Nigerian community for the sake of shepherd attacks

According to what we have heard, selling and eating cow meat is now a “taboo” for the Uwheru kingdom in southern Nigeria. This law went into effect on Saturday 22 February 2020.

Uwheru Kingdom is a village in the local government area of ​​Ughelli North in the Delta state, rich in oil. So in this community it is not fun or normal to eat Suya, Kilishi or beef as food.

Community leaders say the law was put into effect due to the clash between shepherds and farmers that took place in the community.

“The reason is because humans were reportedly murdered because of the cows.”

This is what the state commissioner for higher education, prof. Patrick Muoboghare who attended the meeting.

As at the time, Muoboghare claimed that the cow meat ban law was only partial, but will continue to remain so forever.

Just recently, the BBC tried to check the community to see if the natives still obey the law.

This comes after a year and six months of banning the sale and consumption of cow meat.

Are the natives of the Uwheru kingdom still obeying the law after more than a year of ban on cows?

Dr. Ochuko Nabofa, who appears to be an indidene from the Kingdom of Uwheru, told the BBC that his family is still obeying the law as far as he is concerned, but some families have broken it.

“Well, the information I have received says that some people have broken the law, but those of us who don’t live inside the village still obey the law.”

“For example me, my family and the other indigenous Uwheru family don’t eat cow meat because it is taboo for us”, Ochuko said.

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He also said that inside the village there are some people who still trade cow meat and those people still find their way to the village just to sell cow meat, but most people don’t eat it.


“Although some people still buy or eat cow meat, but not all because most of the people in the village don’t eat it anymore.”

Regarding why some people don’t obey the law again, Ochuko Nabofa said it is because of religion and others.

“The problem in the village of Uwheru these days is mainly due to Christianity and other things as they no longer follow the taboo as before.”

“For the time they made the law for the first time, people did burials, marriages and no one killed cows during that time, they all obeyed the law.”

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However, they killed other animals and used fish as the Kingdom of Uwheru is a fishing community.

About a few weeks ago, Miyetti Allah of the Cattle Breeders Association said a cow could cost as much as two million naira due to the open grazing ban some states in Nigeria have put in place.

Maikudi Usman, who is the group’s zonal secretary in the southwest, sounded this alarm in the public hearing of the Lagos State Assembly House on the law against open grazing.

This open grazing bill comes for the sake of clashes between farmers and herders and to prevent the destruction of farms, community ponds, settlements and properties.