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We Will Not Beg Northern Traders To End Strike - Southern States Boast

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Northern Elders React To Food Blockade From North To South

Some southern state governments and farmers have said in different interviews with newsmen that they are not threatened with the strike action by Northern food suppliers.

According to them, the development is an opportunity for the South to boost its food production capacity.

Naija News had reported earlier that the strike action by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) has led to rising food prices in southern Nigeria, according to the Daily Trust.

The AUFCDN, which is part of the National Labour Congress (NLC), went on strike on Thursday last week following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government.

The group is seeking compensation of ₦475 billion for the damage done to its members during the EndSARS protests and the killing of Hausa traders in an ethnic clash at the Shasha market in Oyo State.

It also demanded the removal of all checkpoints from highways, where its members were abused by extorting money from them.

The strike action involves a halt to all food shipments from North to South, including slaughter animals and vegetables. However, officials of the states including Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu and Ondo while conversing with reporters earlier on Monday, March 1 explained their actions is to ensure self-sufficiency in food and animal production.

On its part, Ondo and Cross Rivers states condemned northern food suppliers for their action, stating that the south will not plead with them to end their blockade of food supply from the north.

Naija News understands that AUFCDN had accused the Nigerian military men of harassing its members, insisting on embarking on a strike action so the south can know its importance.

Reacting to the development, Mr Akin Olotu, the Senior Special Assistant to the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on Agriculture and Agric Business, in an interview with newsmen described the blockade as a good development.

According to him, the strike action would be an eye-opener to utilise opportunities the South had in agriculture.

Olotu added that the state government was not perturbed by the development as he said it would make the people of the South-West involve more in agriculture. He said: "We won't appeal to them to bring the food to the South. If they want to bring it, let them bring it. If they don't want to bring it, let them take it away, but nobody will beg them. It is a welcome development, it would spur our people to embrace agriculture more, particularly at the family level.

"It would also encourage the promotion of food security at the family level. That is why the government has been advocating food security at the family level. You can plant in your compound. You can raise animals in your compound so that you will reduce the money you spend on food.

"We are not relenting here. It is a matter of months, our tomatoes and pepper would start coming out for harvest. We are working on onions too. Very soon, we will begin to grow our own onions. The only appeal we can make to them is for them to leave our forests and stop destroying our farms."

 

Source: Naija News