The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Friday, blamed institutional failure for the blockade of foodstuff supply and transportation to Southern Nigeria as the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, AUFCDN, embarked on the protest over factors militating against their business.
Speaking with newsmen, National President, AFAN, Arc Ibrahim Kabir, said the whole issue boils down to poor discharge of constitutional duties by relevant government organisations that would have mitigated the plight of members of AUFCDN earlier, and such blockade of food supply would not have happened.
Kabir said: “The situation arose principally due to institutional failure and inequity. The institutions saddled with maintaining national security must work properly so also those charged with taxation and inspection as well as internal trade.
“The State Governments must be able to have some control on security enforcement in their various states otherwise this kind of things can completely destabilize the whole country.”
He also acknowledged that the industrial action by leaders and members of the union while it lasted for about a week before it was called off on Thursday, affected his members who are farmers in a negative way.
“The industrial action has been called off but while it lasted the farmers in the North suffered business losses because they could not readily sell their large ruminants, small ruminants and crops because the traditional off-takers from the South could not come due to the blockade.
“It portended a lot of existential challenges to everybody on both sides of the divide and so farmers as citizens of Nigeria like everybody else felt threatened too”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the AFAN boss commended President Muhammadu Buhari for intervening in the situation through the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to dialogue with the leadership of the union, which after their intensive talks led to demands made by the union’s leadership on Wednesday, led its National President, Dr Mohammed Tahir, who ordered the suspension of the industrial action.
It will be recalled that the union embarked on strike on Thursday, February 25, 2021, demanding N475 billion in compensation from the federal government for the destruction of their businesses and property in Ondo and Oyo States in January and February.