The Leaders of Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the belt of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, has on Wednesday, agreed to resume the movement of food supplies from the northern part of the country to the southern region.
It was gathered that the agreement was reached when the leadership of the trade union met with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in Abuja. Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was also at the meeting.
About a week ago, it was gathered that northern traders had embarked on strike over the alleged killing of their members in the southern part of the country. Prices of food commodities like pepper, tomatoes, beef, yam, garri, amongst others, had gone over the roof with many southerners groaning and complaining about the increase.
AUFCDN General Chairman, Ahmed Alaramma, had said the President of the association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the Department of State Services over the ban.
According to Bello, “I’ve gotten the commitment of the Union. In order for us not to continue to have this hardship across the country to lift the ban on food and livestock transportation to the south.
“I’ve also gotten a major commitment from people from the south not to attack people of Hausa/Fulani and the traders in the south and that the criminals among them irrespective of tribe and religion should be handed over to law enforcement agents.
“I’ve also gotten the commitment that their lives and properties will be protected also.
“So, these are the messages we brought to the chief of staff to convey to the president .”
On the demands the traders want the president to meet, Bello said, “Number one demand is to ensure that their goods and the lives of their members anywhere in the country are safe.
“On this note, we have brought the demands to Mr. President, through the Chief of Staff and how we’ve been able to resolve the matter. The Chief of Staff is going to convey the message to Mr. President.
“The association demanded that its members were killed, that there should be compensation for the lives and livelihood that were destroyed in the South.
“All those who committed those crimes should be brought to justice, the harassment by law enforcement agencies on our federal highways be stopped, the extortion by all touts along federal highways, especially from the northeast or from the north to south-south and southeast, particularly, be stopped.
“We’ve presented those demands to the government because before now, they have reached out to every authority in the land and there seemed to be no positive response to the demand.”
Furthermore, the former Aviation Minister, Fani-Kayode, has described the blockade as a very complicated issue, would definitely have snowballed into a major crisis in the country.
He described the intervention led by Bello and his team as “more or less like a miracle” as they acted within 72 hours which led to a positive resolution.
“And that it is extremely impressive. And I believe that by this intervention in national issue if we have this sort of strong leadership across party lines, our country would be a much better place in the future .”