Northern traders lift food embargo on southern Nigeria

Yahaya Bello with some of the cattle and foodstuff traders
Composite pictures show Governor Yahaya Bello at the meeting with traders in Abuja on Wednesday

By EricJames Ochigbo

Northern Nigeria Cattle and foodstuff traders have agreed to lift food embargo on southern Nigeria, following the intervention of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi and a former aviation minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

The traders, grouped as Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria spoke to newsmen late on Wednesday in Abuja after lifting their food supply embargo.

The Chairman of the group, Mr Mohammed Tahir, said the association had embarked on the strike in a bid to stop food and cattle supplies to Nigeria’s South-West, South-East and South-South.

Tahir said, however, that the association has decided to resume supplies, following appeals by Bello and other prominent Nigerians, who had been pleading with the traders.

He explained that the embargo was a way to express the grievances of members of the association, following alleged attacks on some members of the association during the #EndSARS protest and Shasha Market crisis in Ibadan.

Tahir said that the association had chosen to toe the line of peace in resolving the matter, rather than carrying out reprisal attacks on fellow Nigerians.

“Instead of reprisal attack, the only civil way to make our voices heard was to cut the supply of food and that has worked.

“We did not do that to punish the south or make them starve but to make our voices heard and get response to our demands and let our people know that something was being done over their plight.

“We demand compensation for those who died and attention for those still in the hospital. We demand that those who perpetrated these crimes should be punished.

“We want our people to be assured of their safety as they go about their lawful businesses,” said Tahir.

Bello lauded the traders for calling off their strike, praising them for not carrying out attacks on their fellow Nigerians.

The governor assured the traders that he would ensure that their demands were met and that he would also engage with other governors and stakeholders to ensure peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Bello said that he had since engaged Mr Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to make sure that everyone embraced peace.

The governor advised the traders to be wary of people, wanting to use them to stir violence, saying that Nigeria had come a long way as a united nation.

“In order not to allow these losses to continue, call off your strike immediately and that will allow us to ensure that your demands are met.

“You are not asking for good roads, security on the highways, modern shops, or facilities like loans or bailout, you are only asking for justice and that the laws of the land should be applied.

“I want to assure you that these five demands and even more will come your way and we are starting now.

“I will follow up with Mr President and even if I have to go down south to meet with all the governors. Believe me, whether APC or PDP, no governor will condone crisis.

“We must show to the world that we have the capacity of solving our own problems.”

Also speaking, Fani-Kayode commended Bello for his intervention on the matter, stating that the governor had been unrelenting in ensuring that the matter was resolved.

“If anybody had told me this situation would be resolved this easily, I would not believe but Gov. Yahaya Bello has done that.

“Bello is an extra-ordinary man because this country was on the brink of catastrophe just some few weeks back but he has resolved that.”

Fan-Kayode said that the meeting had shown that there was still hope for peace and unity in Nigeria.

5 COMMENTS

  1. It is regrettable that such madness is granted a suitable hearing on national TV. Some things are just preposterouly nonsensical.
    This country isn’t growing, we are all doomed in this shit hole according to Trump’s description.
    This evil has been introduced now, and it’s gonna be repeated in no distant time.
    Imagine the mentality of living on mercy of other region, that’s arrant nonsense.
    Let’s fold our hands and see. My humble suggestion is seeking international aide to teach us how to manage a country.

  2. It is now that we are understanding the reason for the incessant killing of farmers in the middle belt and southern regions of the country. The motive is to drastically reduce the productive capacity of farmers so that the southern states will starve and be at the mercy of the north for food, which God forbid. The dilly dallying of some southern governors with the fate of their people must stop immediately because some of them appear not to be comprehending the situation properly. This is not a joke. Security should be provided for the farmers in addition to adequate fundings so that the southern regions can revert back to their former enviable position as the bread basket of West African sub-region. The north was only known for cattle rearing and groundnuts. The money borrowed by the Buhari government to revamp the agricultural sector of the country’s economy was given to northern farmers only and that’s enough reason for southern governors to source for funds and help the farmers in their states.

  3. Thanks to Gov Bello for giving the Northern leaders a soft landing. Honestly, I don’t see their actions having any negative consequences on the southerners, it was just a wake up call for the southerners to be alerted and alighted to their responsibilitirs

  4. We in the South prefer the blocade to continue. It’s an eye opener for all of us and we are ready to take our destiny in our hands.

  5. Thank God this our oil is in the South . If it was discovered in the North they would have broken away few years after the discovery. Even as it is in the South, thousands of kilometres away from the North they stupidly lay claim to our oil. The South should not take this blockade of foods lightly. Hunger they say is the greatest weapon of war. Awolowo of the rotten memory applied it against the BIAFRANS during the last civil war with the soul aim of starving millions of BIAFRANS to death. Though thousands died but we survived it. The North should continue the blockade and let’s see who blinks first. The South should reject their foods. Send the trucks back. Do it for some months as the purity or quality of the foods is not guaranteed.

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