The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has alleged that the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) didn’t end their strike willingly but were forced to do so.
The group also alleged that Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello intervened in resolving the food blockade saga so as to boost his chances for presidency in 2023.
The CNG further claimed the military arrested some leaders of the union so as to force the members to resume transportation of farm produce from the North to the South.
It will be recalled that the food and cattle traders union on Wednesday, announced the suspension of its strike after a meeting with Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and agreed to restart the movement of food and cattle from the North to the South.
But reacting to the development, the CNG in a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the North should be wary of both Fani-Kayode and Governor Bello.
The statement reads: “With earlier reports that the leadership of AUFCDN was arrested and detained by the security and the intimidation of union leaders out to enforce the blockade by the Military, everyone can see that the strike suspension was far from voluntary.”
It added that: “We all know that Governor Bello had never shown any concern over the plight of the northerners when they were attacked during the EndSARS uprising and at Sasha, Ibadan.
“For someone like that to suddenly move to intervene to halt legitimate pressure to extract compensation for the innocently attacked northerners is certainly mere self-service aimed at personal political ascendancy.”
“The involvement of Governor Bello with Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode – a self-appointed enemy of the North who would leave no stone unturned in furthering the plot to destabilize the North, is another pointer that the intervention was mischievous and certainly not in the interest of northerners.”
“Besides, the agreement reached did not disclose any commitment by the authorities on the demand for payment of compensation for lives and properties lost by northerners to the attacks,” the statement explained.
CNG further lamented that the agreement to suspend the strike and resume transportation of food items did not include any credible guarantee that the interest of the Northern traders would be protected.
“Northerners should, therefore, be wary of the manoeuvres of such southern politicians and their northern collaborators like Bello whose eyes are only primed on the presidency and not the general safety of the country and the North in particular,” CNG declared.
Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Jangebe town following the violent outbreak when the 279 abducted schoolgirls were reunited with their parents.