Food blockade: North suffers setback as Cameroon, Niger Republic, reject diverted food products

March 2, 2021
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The decision of northern farmers and traders to hurriedly block food supply to southern Nigeria may have boomeranged less than 24 hours the blockage was commenced. This is not unconnected with the failed mission of diverting the food and cattle consignment to neighbouring countries of Niger and Cameroon where the agricultural products were rejected at the various destinations. National Daily investigation revealed that both consumers and traders in Niger and Cameroon rejected the products from Nigeria to protect their markets and agricultural production. The stakeholders already have sources of food supply from their respective countries and resisted the products from Nigeria diverted for dumping in their countries. They, in consensus, rejected the diverted products from northern Nigeria, which subsequently, compelled the northern food dealers to resume food supply to southern Nigeria.

A northern Tomato farmer, Musa Tijani, was cited to have made an appeal to stop the food supply blockage to the south as food producers in the north were beginning to encounter losses from the blockade.

Tijani was cited to have decried that most of the perishable foodstuff diverted to the neighbouring countries have spoiled, lamenting: “even the countries that we are moving the goods to have the items.

“So, what happens is that when we get there, they won’t buy most of the foodstuffs till we will just dash them or dump them there.”

The northern farmer, then, cried out: “we need to stop this blockage and see ourselves as one.

“There is no difference between an Igbo man, Hausa, Yoruba and Fulani…”

The Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AFUDCN) had on Sunday, Feb 21 issued ultimatum to the federal government to address their demands or they call out their members for national strike.

The Secretary General of the Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, Ahmed Alarama, had complained that their members were killed, property destroyed at the Shasha mayhem in Ibadan, Oyo State. He said the association had written to the federal government and all First-Class Emirs in the north to intervene and secure agreement with the 36 states of the federal and the AFUDCN. The association had issued seven days ultimatum after which they will call members to stop distribution of food and cattle nationwide.

The strike commenced and subsequently, generated its own version of controversies in the country.

National Daily investigation further revealed that the North Central dissociated their famers and traders from the strike, promising to continue food supply to the south from the Benue basin. Later, others from the Southern Kaduna, unto the Adamawa Mountains, including southern Kebbi, were identified to align with the north central to sustain food supply to the south.

Moreover, there mobilization for adjustment to the food supply blockade from the north, essentially, moving food out of the rural communities to the cities within the south.

Also, sustaining the food supply blockade would in less than one week render thousands of northern traders in the south jobless if the mission of food supply diversion to Niger Republic and Cameroon had succeeded.

The federal government did not intervene the moment the action commenced but began to go after the people when the products were rejected at their diverted destinations.

The Cameroons and citizens of Niger Republic were also gathered to be in solidarity with southern Nigeria in their resistance to the killer Fulani herdsmen that are linked to invasion of rural communities, killing farmers, kidnapping, raping women, and girls, and destroying property, including farmlands.

Meanwhile, the northern traders have resumed food supply to the south.

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