Despite the risk of losing their perishable products, northern traders under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) have vowed to maintain the food blockade to the southern part of the country.
The purpose of the food blockade, according to Awwalu Aliyu, a union official who spoke to TheCable, is not to starve Southerners, but to protest against the killing and destruction of Northerners’ lands.
Aliyu, who reiterated the group’s claims of Northerners being killed and losing property, especially during the #EndSARS protest and the recent Shasha market crisis in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, added that losing food items locked inside trucks in Jebba, Niger state, would be preferable to losing their lives.
Aliyu was asked if members of the union were worried about food items locked inside trucks in Jebba, Niger state, going bad and causing losses.
“It would be easier to lose food than to lose lives.”
You’re talking about property loss; which is preferable, losing a life or losing property? It is easier to lose property than to lose one’s life.
“Rather than continue to lose their lives, we prefer and our people would prefer to lose certain farm products or goods. If you’re still alive, you can plant another crop or raise another herd of cattle. You can’t do that if you’re gone, though. The farm is only open to the living.
“We don’t want to kill anybody. We don’t want to murder someone. The combined population of Yorubas and Ibos in Kano and Kaduna is much greater than the combined population of northerners in the entire south-west, south-south, and south-east. Furthermore, if you exclude Dangote, the investments of Yorubas and Igbos in Kano and Kaduna, which run into billions of naira, are greater than the combined investments of northerners in the south-west, south-east, and south-south. Our people are merely petty traders, shoe shiners, fingernail cutters, wheelbarrow pushers, and okada riders.
“What southerners have in the north, we don’t have in the south. They own farms, houses, and a vast number of properties worth billions of dollars. We have no intention of extracting a needle from it. We have no intention of damaging anyone’s property. What we want is for our people to be safe from assassination.”