Some southern state governments and farmers have reacted to the decision of northern cattle and foodstuff dealers to stop their supplies to southern states.
A report in the PUNCH states that six southern states, namely Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu and Ondo, dismissed the blockade as an avenue for the south to boost its food and animal production capacity.
In Ondo, 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.
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.
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