Northern traders under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) have vowed to continue the food blockade to the Southern part of the country, in spite of being at risk of losing their perishable goods.
Awwalu Aliyu, an official of the union who spoke to TheCable stated that the aim of the food blockade is not to starve Southerners but to protest against the killing and destruction of properties belonging to Northerners.
Aliyu who restated the group’s claim of Northerners being killed and losing properties especially during the #EndSARS protest and the recent Shasha market crisis in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, added that it will be better for them to lose food items locked up inside trucks in Jebba, Niger state than losing their lives.
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.
- “We do not want to destroy anybody. We do not want to kill anybody. The number of Yorubas and Ibos that reside in Kano and Kaduna alone is far more than the number of northerners in the entire south-west, south-south and south-east.
- “Also, the investments of Yorubas and Igbos in Kano and Kaduna, running into billions of naira is more than the entire investments of northerners in the south-west, south-east and south-south if you remove Dangote. Our people are only petty traders, shoe shiners, fingernail cutters, wheelbarrow pushers, okada riders and so on.
- “Our people in the south don’t have what southerners have in the north. They have farmlands, buildings and a lot of properties that run into billions. We do not intend to touch a needle out of it. We do not intend to destroy anybody’s property. What we want is to have our people protected from being killed.”