For centuries, donkeys have been used as vehicles, especially in the northern part of the country. But the fear of the possible disappearance of these animals in the state of Zamfar has recently enveloped their users, as pets are dragged out in their numbers to the southern part of the country, where they die for meat. The Daily Trust is considering the situation on Sunday.
Ibrahim was busy nudging and shouting at his donkey, which was tied with a bag full of sand. He used a cane to defeat the animal, so that it accelerated, perhaps quickly reach its destination.
Adopted by this reporter Ibrahim, the sweat struggled to stop the moving donkey in order to enable him to respond to the Daily Trust on Sunday's inquiry about how the massive transportation of donkeys from north to south for meat affected his condition as a person who uses donkeys in commercial purposes.
"The high price of donkeys these days is worrying. In recent years, the price of animals has increased dramatically, it has almost tripled. Why am I saying that this donkey is the same size as this one, costing about N20,000 three or four years ago, but now it will cost at least N80,000 to N100,000 on the market, "he said.
"Dealers armed with money flooded donkey markets, and they are responsible for the high cost of the animal. They arbitrarily evaluate them, buy and transfer them to the south for high profits.
"The markets of the donkey are flourishing these days because of the high profitability associated with business, but at such a speed they may soon disappear," he warned.
Nevertheless, Ibrahim tried to offer solutions to some of the problems facing those who engage in an ass in the state. He also expressed regret at the fact that the government pays little attention or not.
"I think that the government did not bother to go in and regulate the activities of donkey marketers. Everyone does what he likes. They go to rural markets to buy animals, and then transfer them to the market of the southern donkey for sale. "
Another person involved in business, Adam Tukur, said that rampant cases of kidnapping of donkeys, especially in the capital of the Zamfar state in Gusau, pose a serious threat to their business.
"A few years ago we allowed our donkeys to graze any where they liked, but no one dares to leave their donkey today unattended to graze even 500 meters from his residence. Ten years ago, no one was interested in stealing donkeys because of its low cost in the market.
"We transport piles of sand, and sometimes agricultural products for households in the city. Someone may need a small amount of sand to fix a broken fence or a wall. This person will patronize us. We pay N200 to N500 per trip depending on distance, and we enjoyed high patronage thanks to our ability to maneuver animals through narrow streets where dump trucks and other large vehicles can not reach, "he added.
Isa Maishanu, who said that his mother bought him an ass to survive, also warned that the donkeys would soon disappear if something urgent was not done for their massacre.
"You're unlikely to see how jenny is giving birth today. The level of anxiety on which donkeys are killed for meat in the South is worrying. The donkey may find it very difficult to work again after 15 years. These are the types that should be sold not by young people, "he said.
Another donkey owner, Aminu Ibrahim, said that he bought his ass for N85,000 and is about N1000 to N2,000 per day, depending on the demand for maintenance. He said that he bought a motorcycle for his younger brother, using funds from the donkey services.
"I wonder why young people complain about the lack of work, despite the potential in the business of the donkey. Not every commercial motorcyclist can do N2000 per day, although it is more fashionable and prestigious to ride a bicycle than riding a donkey. Many people believe that the business of the riding tree is old-fashioned and an obvious sign of poverty.
"Why do I say this because when I tried to marry a girl in my area, her parents refused to refer to unemployment as their reason, despite the fact that I'm doing N2000 a day using my donkey," he said.
In the market of donkeys in Gusau dozens of animals were seen on the truck, expecting to be sent to the southern part of the country.
A dealer in the market, who was somewhat reluctant to talk with our correspondent, said that the beasts gathered mainly from rural markets, such as Yardaji, Vanke, Shinkafi and Dauran.
"We buy from these markets, and then we send them to the main market of Gusau, and from here they will be moved to the south. So we make a living, "he added.
But he does not see any signs of disappearance, saying that donkeys will always be available in the markets.
"We did not see any signs of the possible extinction of these animals. Female donkeys give birth and are carefully bred by the owners. Did you know that some people grow donkeys, how do they bred cows and other pets? Therefore, the issue of disappearance does not arise, despite the fact that the trailer, fully loaded with donkeys, leaves here almost weekly, "he said.
Another donkey dealer, who craved anonymity, said his colleagues were skeptical of the media because they feared a possible government intervention in their work sooner or later.
"They do not want to talk with the media, so as not to disclose their business and not provoke the government. They even know from a religious point of view that the sale of donkey meat is not accepted, "he said.
Resident Mustafa Ali said that the administration of the then governor Ahmad Sani Yarima tried to stop the business by banning the purchase, collection and loading of donkeys on the territory of the state.
"I remembered that the former governor asked all donkey buyers and collectors to free Zamfara territory for their business. This time they collected and loaded animals in the border town of Yankara, neighboring Kacin, "he recalled.
The chairman of the Association of Buyers, a donkey in the state of Alhaji, Sufiyan Mayshan, said that they used the border with the neighboring Republic of Nigeria in search of a good donkey of the breed, but after the authorities closed the authorities were forced to look for donkeys in Nigerian territories. He said that they are sent to the market of Illela in Sokoto and to other rural markets to get them.
"Now, it seems, the scarcity of animals, because where we used about 50 donkeys, now you can hardly collect up to 30," he said.
Maishanu further explained that their business is not hidden. However, the Special Adviser to Governor Jari on Animal and Animal Health Alhadji Ibrahim Arzika Maru said that he was not aware of any cases involving donkeys in Zamfar.
"What I only know is that the Zamfara state is like a transit camp for donkey vendors. They buy and collect their donkeys elsewhere, and then stop in the state, leaving for their final destination.
"But give me a little time, I'll find out from my zonal offices, and then I'll come back to you," he said.