Yoruba sociocultural group, Afenifere and the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF have described the blockade of food items to the South from the North as a “thoughtless protest.”
Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had last week Thursday commenced a nationwide strike following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government to attend to their demands.
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The Union is demanding protection of its members, payment of N475 billion compensation for lives of members and properties lost during the #EndSARS protest and Shasa market chaos in Ibadan. It also demanded that government should order dismantling of all road blocks on federal highways due to problems its members get subjected to when carrying out their duties.
As a result of the strike, no food and cattle are allowed to be moved from the North to the South as all exits and borders between the Northern and Southern part are closed. Trucks carrying any food or cattle are stopped from reaching the southern region.
Spokesman of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin threatened that the South could also block fuel supply to the North.
“This is a thoughtless protest by those who don’t think. If they think they can block tomatoes from coming to the South, what if the South decides to block fuel products from coming to the North, what will you do. Will you power your power needs with cow urine?
“People should rethink, they should be mindful of what other people too can do and if they should go the same way by blocking fuel supply to the North, nobody would have it easy,” he said.
Odumakin said the north is insulting the sensibilities of the Nigerians by demanding for compensation, adding that it cannot claim to have suffered more losses than the South.
“Unfortunately, there is no authority in the land that can put an end to all this nonsense that is going,” he added.
The Afenifere publicist blamed the current ethnic tension on the failure of government to do justice in the land.
An Ijaw Elder Statesman and Spokesman of PANDEF, Chief Anabs Sara Igbe said that the strike action should not be a source of worry to the people of the region.
Chief Igbe said that the threat should encourage the people of the region to go into farming, stressing that the region’s two seasonal farming period is an added advantage for the region to produce sufficient food for the people.
He warned that the north should not expect supply of oil if they insisted on cutting food supply to the region, stressing that oil revenue from the south should not be used to develop the north.