Northern Traders Insist On Blocking Food From Being Transported To The South
Northern traders under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) have vowed to continue to prevent food from being transported to the Southern part of the country, despite being at risk of losing their perishable goods.
According to TheCable, Awwalu Aliyu, an official of the union, stated that the aim of the food blockade is not to starve Southerners but to protest against the alleged killing and destruction of properties belonging to Northerners.
Last Thursday, cattle and foodstuff dealers under AUFCDN stopped supplies to the South. Their action followed the Federal Government’s failure to meet their demands.
One of their demands is the payment of N475m compensation for the alleged destruction of lives and property during last year’s #EndSARS protest and last month’s crisis in Shasha, Oyo State.
To enforce the strike, the union’s task force prevented members from transporting livestock and food from the north to the southern part of the country.
Many trucks, which disobeyed its directives, were stopped along Jebba-Kaduna road last Friday, prompting the military to intervene.
Reacting to this on Tuesday, Aliyu emphasised that it would be better for them to lose their perishable food items like tomatoes, onions and meats locked up inside trucks in Jebba, Niger state than lose their lives.
It would be better to lose the food items than to lose lives. You’re talking about losing goods; which one is better, to lose a life or to lose property? Losing property is better than losing a life.
We prefer and our people will prefer to lose those farm items or goods than to continue losing their lives. If you are alive, you can plant another thing, you can rear another cattle. But if you’re dead, you can’t do that again. Only the living can go to the farm.
We do not want to destroy anybody. We do not want to kill anybody. The number of Yorubas and Ibos that reside in Kano and Kaduna alone is far more than the number of northerners in the entire south-west, south-south and south-east.
Also, the investments of Yorubas and Igbos in Kano and Kaduna, running into billions of naira is more than the entire investments of northerners in the south-west, south-east and south-south if you remove Dangote. Our people are only petty traders, shoe shiners, fingernail cutters, wheelbarrow pushers, okada riders and so on.
Our people in the south don’t have what southerners have in the north. They have farmlands, buildings and a lot of properties that run into billions. We do not intend to touch a needle out of it. We do not intend to destroy anybody’s property. What we want is to have our people protected from being killed.
Following the commencement of the strike, food scarcity and hike in the prices of foodstuffs like pepper, onion and beef have begin to sting in Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Uyo, and other parts of Southern Nigeria items.