“We’d rather lose the goods” — Northern traders adamant

…As concern grows over stoppage

Concern is growing over the stoppage of food supply to southern Nigeria from the North.

Some farmers who spoke to journalists on the situation lamented the inability to transport their farm produce to the South.

The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, (AUFCDN), says it prefers that farm produce go to waste rather than tolerate continued attacks on its members in the southern region of the country.

An official of the union, Awwalu Aliyu, who spoke to newsmen in Kano yesterday, said the decision not to supply food to the region was not to starve southerners but to protest attacks on their members.

Aliyu alleged that some members in the South were killed, maimed and lost properties, especially during the #EndSARS protest and the recent Shasha market crisis in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

When asked if members of the union were not concerned about food items locked up inside trucks in Jebba, Niger state, going bad and leading to losses, Aliyu said: “It would be better to lose the food items than to lose lives”.

“You’re talking about losing goods; which one is better, to lose a life or to lose property? Losing property is better than losing a life.

“We prefer and our people will prefer to lose those farm items or goods than to continue losing their lives. If you are alive, you can plant another thing, you can rear another cattle. But if you’re dead, you can’t do that again. Only the living can go to the farm.

Recall that the AUFCDN last Thursday announced  the commencement of strike action over government refusal to meet its demands, which include compensation for the alleged killing of their members and cattle in the south, citing the recent clash in Shasha Market in Ibadan, Oyo, where they claimed to have lost billions of naira.

Consequently, many trailers transporting cows, tomatoes, onions, pepper, grains and other commodities were prevented from leaving a border town in Niger State to the southern part of the country from Thursday. Trailers transporting cows, tomatoes and other commodities were prevented from leaving a border town in Niger State.

However, some concerned Nigerians who spoke in separate interviews with newsmen said such action by the union would further polarise the country, urging the Federal Government to take drastic action to normalise the situation.

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