– The blockade of food supplies to Southern Nigeria has sparked reactions from southern state governments
– Enugu, Cross River, Ondo and three other states said the development will eventually work to the advantage of the south
– The states said they are intensifying efforts to boost their local food and animal production to reduce dependence on any external source
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Some southern state governments and farmers have reacted to the decision of northern cattle and foodstuff dealers to stop their supplies to southern states.
Six southern states, namely Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu and Ondo, dismissed the blockade, saying it is an opportunity for the south to boost its food and animal production capacity, The Punch reported.
Recall that cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria on Thursday, February 25, stopped food supplies to the south.
They said they were embarking on strike due to the federal government’s failure to meet their demands, which include payment of compensation for the destruction of lives and property during the #EndSARS protest and the recent ethnic crisis in the Shasha market in Ibadan.
To enforce the strike, the union’s task force prevented the members from transporting livestock and food from the north to the southern part of the country.
The union insisted that it had not called off the strike.
Reactions by state governments
Akin Olotu, the senior special assistant to the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on agriculture and agric business, described the blockade as a good development.
He said it was an eye-opener to utilise opportunities the south had in agriculture.
In its own reaction, the Delta state government said the blockade did not represent the unity of Nigeria.
The state government, however, said it has been intensifying efforts in encouraging local food production.
Also reacting, the Cross River state government said the blockade won’t last forever, adding that the blockade will eventually hurt the farmers especially those producing perishable goods.
The Akwa Ibom state government said it is working on ensuring that 80% of what was consumed was produced in the state just as the Enugu state government said it would ensure the state is sufficient in food production in the nearest future.
On its part, the Lagos state government said it has not been officially informed of any decision to withdraw supplies to the state.
The Lagos state commissioner for information and strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, also said the state was not feeling any effect of food shortage.
Nevertheless, Omotosho said Lagos is already preparing for the future in terms of food production.
Collins Chukwu commented on Facebook:
“If truly this is a strike against the federal government, why did they target the southerners. Two things I see in this action: 1. Is a reprisal protest against the south over the quit notice given to herdsmen. 2. They fulani leadership in Nigeria wants to use it to force Nigerians give fulanis lands to settle as being presented to the NASS”
Segun Medaiyese said:
“This has further corroborated my claims that one of the greatest reasons why our states are doing so poorly is overdependence on Federal Allocation.
“Give some of these states six months notice to cut off Federal Allocation and you would see them making frantic efforts at upping their IGR.
“No man can be completely independent but sometimes overdepending on people and systems is the greatest disservice to freedom. It makes you neglect your potentials.”
Ope Kehinde said:
“…It a good move by the Northerners to stop bringing food to the South….let all our south west governors come together allocate a land in every state for farming, which can sustain all the south west and Africa at large…. farming is the way to go…. no goods from the south should be sent to the north.this is indirect restructuring.. people that are backwards are giving us a threat….we move”
Akintola Meephtaudeen said:
“We cannot do without each other. Let us play endurance with LOVE. I come in peace!”
Forlahbee Ibrahim said:
“I laugh in Spanish because I know cows that are being slaughtered in the south are up to 100,000 daily or more. Imagine that much income being lost in the north everyday. Plus other food items. Cows would definitely outgrow the northern population in 10years if this continues . I just pity the businessmen and farmers over there.”
DSS invites cattle dealers
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the leadership of cattle and foodstuff dealers were invited by the Department of State Service (DSS).
The general secretary of the food dealers’ association, Ahmed Alaramma, made the revelation at a press briefing at Labour House, Abuja, on Monday, March 1.
He said the president of the Association, Mohammed Tahir, was with the DSS, adding that some military personnel were intimidating members and a task force of the union.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_