Traders FoodTruck

Concerns over stop of food-supply to south Nigeria

Condemnation has continued to trail the decision of some cattle dealers from the North to cut food supply in the Southern part of the country.

The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), announced last Thursday the commencement of strike action over government refusal to meet its demands, which include compensation for the alleged killing of their members and cattle in the south, citing the recent clash in Shasha Market in Ibadan, Oyo, where they claimed to have lost billions of naira.

Consequently, many trailers transporting cows, tomatoes, onions, pepper, grains and other commodities were prevented from leaving a border town in Niger State to the southern part of the country from Thursday.

Kabiru Salisu, financial secretary of the AUFCDN, told reporters over the weekend, that the task force set up by the union was enforcing the strike in Niger State and other areas. He said the government had not reached out to the union on its demands, hence the strike, which he said was indefinite.

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“There is a task force that we set up to enforce the directive by the union that there would be no transportation of cattle and foodstuffs to the South with effect from Thursday. So, the union set up the task force to prevent sabotage,” Salisu said.

Similar groups in the Middle Belt over the weekend dissociated themselves from the strike while condemning the group action. On Sunday, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), in a statement by its national president, Bitrus Pogu, had called on the Federal Government and the relevant security agencies to flush out hooligans involved in illegal blocking of movement of food items to the south.

However, some concerned Nigerians who spoke in separate interviews with BusinessDay, on Monday, said such action by the union would further polarise the country, urging the Federal Government to take drastic action to normalise the situation.

They wondered why a responsive government would allow some people to hold the country to ransom by making unnecessary demands.


Traders FoodTruck

Traders happy as movement of food trucks begins…

Dealers in food items in Kwara and neighbouring states have heaved a sigh of relief as free movement of goods and food products Monday resumed from North to South West states.

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Some suspected hoodlums of northern extraction at the weekend reportedly barricaded the Jebba-Ilorin highway to disallow food items-carrying trucks from allegedly entering South West states.

It was reported that truckloads of food items from the northern parts of the country were denied entry into states of the South West.

It was also gathered that some Hausa youths in Kara-Jebba, outskirts of Niger state in Kwara state boundary had between last Thursday and Friday, blocked truck drivers carrying food items from entering South Western states.

The items are tomatoes, beans, yams, cattle, pepper and others.

The situation, it was gathered resulted in indiscriminate parking of food rucks along the road obstructing vehicular movement and causing the destruction of the perishable food items.

Investigation revealed that free movement of goods laden food trucks resumed early Monday morning on the Jebba-Ilorin expressway.

Resident of Jebba, who is a prince of the ancient town Ibrahim Adebara, said that a troop of military operatives drafted by the federal government effected the free movement.

Prince Adebara said that the military personnel had stationed along the road to maintain law and order, adding that the military personnel threatened to treat anyone that blocks the road as terrorist.

Also speaking, a trader called Madam Asiawu Balogun said she was happy with the return of normalcy, however, lamenting losses caused by some perishable items that got bad while the situation lasted.

The Defence headquarters, in a statement at the weekend by its acting director Defence information, Brigadier-General Onyema Ugochukwu, said it had cleared the Jebba-Kaduna road of those preventing trucks from going to the South and restored normalcy there.

“This is also to give a stern warning to any unscrupulous group or persons who are aiming at disrupting legitimate economic and commercial activities by preventing free flow of traffic and movement of goods in a bid to generate clashes along ethnic divides to desist from such unpatriotic acts or face the wrath of the law.

“Members of the public are also urged to promptly report anyone found engaged in such atrocious activities to security operatives,” the statement had said.