BENUE State Commissioner of Agriculture, James Anbua has described rearing snake in the state as ‘evil’ as is against tradition of the people of the state.
Anbua who spoke with in his office yesterday on the heels of the trending report on air space in the state that the state governor owns snake farm and linked the intercepted containers of snakes in Calabar by Nigerian Customs by opposition said there was no iota of truth in the trending report saying that ‘snakes farming is alien to the people of Benue state and the culture’.
Anbua said that the state has its traditional crops and animal’s farms where crops and animals such as grass cutters, rabbits, traditional cattle, fish and other animals are reared.
“But to talk of saying someone rears snake in this state is not true because, it is alien to the Benue culture. I don’t know anybody who rears snakes in Benue. Anybody that is known for rearing snakes is something that can be described as evil. Therefore, nobody can rear or think of having snake farm in Benue.”
“He (the Governor) rears snails, grass cutters, rabbits, cattle and other animals which are properly ranched. The farm is very close by and anybody can go there to verify if there is any snake farm there.”
Anbua said that he is aware that some tribes in Nigeria eat snakes, snake farming does not have any social or economic benefit to the Benue people since no tribe in the state either eats snakes.
“Although I know that some people in other cultures in Nigeria eat snakes, Benue people don’t eat snakes and so, no Benue person would venture into such business of rearing snakes.
When asked whether as a policy snakes farm can be allowed in the state, ‘as Agriculture Commissioner, I can never encourage a snake farm in Benue. Even the federal government is not promoting any such snake farming. What is the value chain of snakes in Benue or in Nigeria? How many pharmaceutical industries do we have in Nigeria that use snake venom to manufacture vaccines to warrant anybody going into snake farming?’ he concluded.