The blockage of meals and cattle from the Northern elements of the nation to the Southern elements is starting to take a toll on Lagos and different South-Western cities and cities, DAILY POST investigation has revealed.
Although the menace to withdraw cattle and meals provide to the South had initially been considered a joke or a mere menace that can not be acted upon by many, particularly these within the South, who closely depend upon greens, particularly tomatoes, pepper and onions from the North. They had been, nonetheless, jolted into actuality after movies emerged on-line displaying vans loaded with perishable items, yams and cattle being blocked and turned again at a village shortly after Jebba, on the border between Kwara and Niger States.
That singular motion and its attendant implications on the provision and costs of meat, greens and different items from the North, have proven how deeply dependent the South has turn out to be when it comes to meals provide.
The way it all Began
DAILY POST had reported a menace by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Sellers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) to withdraw the providers of their members nationwide if the Federal Authorities fails to pay them a whopping sum of N450 billion as compensation for the killings of their members and the losses incurred in the middle of supplying foodstuff and cattle to completely different elements of the nation.
The union, which gave the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to compensate its members, additionally alleged fee of a number of taxes in the middle of the cross-country provides.
The President of the union, Muhammad Tahir, whereas addressing a press convention in Abuja, claimed that they’ve been subjected of intimidation, humiliation and destruction. He additionally added that 151 of their members had been killed through the #EndSARS protests final October whereas 100 had been murdered through the Sasha market disaster in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Tahir stated amongst different issues requested an, “settlement between state governments and the union that henceforth, if any violence erupts in that state and our members are attacked, we is not going to hesitate to right away withdraw our providers.
‘’Primarily based on the above, we’re, subsequently, giving the federal authorities seven days ultimatum inside which to deal with the problems raised, or we now have no possibility than to name our members out on a nationwide strike.’’
Following the footsteps of the AUFCDN, the Bauchi State department of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Affiliation of Nigeria (MACBAN),
additionally vowed to cease the sale of cattle to southern Nigeria,
The Bauchi MACBAN, at a press briefing in Bauchi, hinged its menace on one other alleged menace by governors of the South-West to evict herdsmen from their states.
With the seeming success of the meals blockage, which continues to be on the early stage, the Center Belt Discussion board and the Yoruba apex sociocultural organisation, Afenifere, have come out to sentence the motion.
For the Center Belt Discussion board, it was shocked by the motion, which it described as orchestrated and unpatriotic.
Dr. Bitrus Pogu, the Nationwide Chairman of the discussion board, stated: “We aren’t solely surprised by this act which we consider is orchestrated by some unpatriotic parts but in addition shocked at this despicable motion.
“Amid the continued banditry in numerous elements of the nation, the deliberate blockage of meals gadgets is nothing wanting waging one other type of terrorism on Nigerians. We can not as a nation afford to take care of these urchins and bandits with child gloves,” he added.
The Afenifere, nonetheless, has a distinct response from that of the Center Belt Discussion board. It informed the North that it was okay for them to withdraw their meals, however they need to keep in mind that southern states produce petroleum, the nation’s financial mainstay.
The Afenifere, in a press release by its Nationwide Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, famous that the South has different sources of protein aside from consuming cows.
“They need to not neglect that petroleum goes from South to the North. So, they need to watch out. When you’re throwing stones at your neighbours, you have to be cautious what he throws again at you.
“In the event that they withdraw their cows from the South, no downside about that. Earlier than cows, we had what we had been consuming. Cows should not the one supply of protein; there are a number of different sources. It can encourage our folks to do extra within the space of agriculture.
“We’ve neighbours who’re peaceable in Benin Republic, Togo, and different locations that we are able to purchase issues from. They’ll’t threaten us with something resembling withdrawal of merchandise”, Odumakin stated.
Feeling the Pains of Shortage, Hovering Costs
It’s nearly per week now that the meals blockage began and the influence is being felt loudly in Lagos and different cities and cities within the South-West.
A go to by DAILY POST to the Kara meat market alongside the Denro-Ishashi street in Ifo Native Authorities Space of Ogun State, greatest exemplified the influence of the blockage as the same old effervescent market was a shadow of itself.
DAILY POST noticed that there was no cow meat on sale as none was slaughtered as at 2pm on Monday (yesterday)
In a short chat with one of many widespread meat sellers on the market referred to as Baba Ijebu, it was revealed that the meals blockage has prompted critical shortage of cows and some obtainable had been merely past attain.
“Lengthy prior to now, we had been shopping for a medium measurement cow for N150, 000 or thereabout, but it surely went as much as greater than N250,000 even earlier than the blockage. Now, it’s merely not cheap in any respect. There isn’t a level shopping for a cow, slaughter it and never in a position to promote to make revenue.
“Only some can be found on the market and the value has turn out to be so unreasonable due to the scramble for it by so many individuals. Do not forget that additionally it is the identical locations we purchase from that folks from Lagos State additionally purchase from as a result of right here is nearly seen as a part of Lagos”, Baba Ijebu stated.
If the scenario is seen as unreasonable, these promoting pepper and tomatoes consider there’s an impending hazard if issues don’t change very quickly.
At a neighbourhood market at Ojodu Berger space of Lagos State, DAILY POST noticed that 4 items of medium measurement tomatoes go for N100, with the sellers simply infuriated if anybody unduly problem them over it.
A girl in her early fifties who sells pepper and tomatoes on the market, defined to DAILY POST what led to the insufferable value. In keeping with her, the final time she went to the market earlier than the blockage, she purchased a basket of tomatoes for N15,000 however on the weekend, the identical basket was bought for N38,000.
“Individuals are complaining that tomatoes and pepper are too costly, but it surely’s not our fault, we’re promoting simply as we purchased. There isn’t a method I’ll purchase a basket of tomatoes for N38,000 and also you anticipate me to promote the best way I used to be promoting earlier than. It’s that straightforward. If care shouldn’t be taken, a few of us could have to easily cease till there’s sufficient provide and the costs return to regular,” the tomatoe vendor stated.
Findings by DAILY POST revealed that the scenario is identical in Ilorin, Ibadan, Osogbo and Akure, as shortage and hovering costs of cow meat, tomatoes pepper and onions have began hitting laborious on residents.
A resident of Ilorin, Olawepo Tosin, who spoke to DAILY POST on the telephone, lamented that costs of the commodities have skyrocketed in the previous few days.
“Pepper may be very costly now. We don’t perceive what’s going on. There are numerous individuals who went to the market to purchase however needed to return house as a result of the costs should not cheap. The annoying factor is that those being bought at such ridiculous costs should not even recent. It’s stunning”, she stated, oblivious that there’s a blockage occurring.
For Mrs. Ayinke Adeyemo, a resident of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, who spoke to DAILY POST on the telephone, she had devised one other means of creating stew with out relying on tomatoes and pepper.
“I’ve a big family and so I can not afford to depend upon tomatoes and pepper in the mean time as a result of the costs are merely outrageous. I’ve since switched to Banga stew, utilizing palm kernel. This isn’t the primary time loopy costs of tomatoes and pepper have compelled me to do this, so we’re used to it. We’ve to be indigenous in conditions like this and that’s I informed my mates. Nobody can maintain us to ransom,” Adeyemo boasted.
Counting the Price
The meals blockage could also be having critical influence on the folks of the South-West, forcing them to think about alternate options, however the influence is certainly being felt extra throughout the North.
In keeping with a latest survey report, about 180,000 herds of cows are slaughtered each month in Lagos State alone. This interprets to billions of naira on a month-to-month foundation from Lagos State alone for the cow enterprise.
A report printed on Monday quoted a dealer within the North, Musa Tijani as saying that they’ve misplaced over N10 billion in only one week because the meals blockage began.
Tijani stated: “A lot of the perishable foodstuff have spoiled as a result of even the nations that we’re shifting the products to have the gadgets.
“So, what occurs is that after we get there, they gained’t purchase a lot of the foodstuff until we are going to simply sprint them or dump them there.
“We have to cease this blockage and see ourselves as one. There isn’t a distinction between an Igbo man, Hausa, Yoruba and Fulani if our leaders can unite us.”
It might be recalled that AUFCDN had stated that as a substitute of bringing meals to the South, they might reasonably take them to Niger, Cameroon and different neighbouring nations on the market.
The questions many within the South are asking is who blinks first? Will the Federal Authorities settle for the ‘blackmail’ of meals blockage and pay the union and its members the N450 billion they demanded for? Will the South go cap in hand and beg for forgiveness, so that they don’t starve or will the Northern merchants, compelled by losses in billions, capitulate and eat their phrases?