Northern traders resume food supply to South as Gov. Yahaya Bello intervenes
By Our Reporter
March 3, 2020 - Cattle and foodstuff dealers under the Amalgamated Union of FoodStuff and Cattle dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) have agreed to resumed foodstuff supply down South following the interventions of governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi.
The Leadership of the Association disclosed this after a meeting with Gov. Yahaya Bello, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and some other top government officials on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Mohammed Tahir, Chairman of the group said the Association had embarked on a strike, thereby stopping food and cattle supply down South, including the Eastern and Western parts of the country.
Tahir said that the Association has however agreed to lift a ban on its earlier action following the intervention of Go v. Yahaya Bello who have been intervening of the matter, engaging both factions.
He explained that their action was the best way to express their grievances following attacks on some its Members and other Northerners during the #EndSARS protest and Shasha market crisis in Ibadan.
Tahir said that the association had chosen to tow a line of peace in resolving the matter rather than carry out a reprisal attack on Southerners living in the North.
“Not less than 100 persons lost their lives and businesses of our member were destroyed during the #EndSARS protest, over 70 members of the union are still in various hospitals receiving treatments for injuries sustained during the crisis.
“Over 70 buses and 200 shuttle vehicles belonging to members of the union were also destroyed during the crisis.
“We reported the case to all relevant authorities the Police, Civil Defense, DSS, Senate, House of Representatives, SGF, the presidency, governors forum, ethnic and religious bodies, former national leaders and individuals but no positive response yet.
“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 the death and for those still in the hospital, we demand that those who perpetrated this crimes should be punished.
“We want our people be assured of their safety as they go about their lawful business down south,” he said.
Responding, Gov, Bello urged the union to immediately call off the strike for the peace and unity of the country and he commended them for not carrying out a reprisal attack on the southerners living in the North.
Bello assured the association that he would ensure that their demands are being met and would engage with all state governors and stakeholders to ensure peaceful coexistence between Northerners and Southerners where ever state they are.
He said that he had not rested since the begging of the tussle and he had also engage Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho to make sure the matter does not escalate and to maintain peace down South.
The governor urged both factions to be weary of people who want to use them to stir violence, insisting that Nigeria is too interwoven to be separated
“In order not to allow these losses continue, call off the strike immediately and that will allow ensure 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 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 from 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 crises.
“We must show to the world that we have the capacity of solving our own problem”, Gov. Bello said.
Femi-Fani Kayode appreciated and commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for his intervention on the matter, stating that the governor had not rest until he ensured 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 extraordinary man because this country was in a brink of catastrophe just some few weeks back but he has resolved that”, Fan-Kayode said.
He said that the meeting has shown that there hope for peace and unity in Nigeria.