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Fears over hike in food prices as Northerners divert items, cattle to Niger, Cameroon

Akinwale Aboluwade
There are speculations about a hike in prices of food stuffs as Northerners traders, cattle dealers have begun to divert items to neighbouring Niger Republic and Cameroon.
This came following the recent crisis that left many Yoruba and Hausa casualties in the trail of the clash at Shasha Market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Unconfirmed report has it that some elements have begun to block the trade routes to the South and several truckloads of food items are being prevented from being transported.
A report indicated that trucks carrying food items down South from the north were on Friday stopped by some northerners from entering Kwara State and the South-West. A video clip showing the illegal stoppage of trucks carrying food items from the North down South at Jebba village in Niger State by some northern youths went viral on social media.
However, the Defence Headquarters said normalcy has been restored in the area following the tension that was generated by protesting northern youths. According to the military, a joint troop comprising the military and other security agencies have been deployed to clear the Jebba-Kaduna Road.
Trucks carrying food items like tomatoes, onions, beans, yams and cattle from the north going beyond a location in Jebba called Kara into Kwara or other states to the South West were reported to have parked by the roadside with some of their contents already going bad. The development, it was learnt, was connected to an ultimatum given by the national leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to the Federal Government which demanded compensation for the losses suffered by Northern traders in the recent mayhem at Shasha market in Ibadan, Oyo State, and during the #EndSARS protest.
The Northern Consensus Movement and the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria equally commenced a strike on Thursday during which routes between the North and South were reportedly blocked.
The Northern groups also clarified on Friday that they were demanding the sum of N4.7 billion as compensation for their members killed and properties destroyed during the Shasha crisis in Ibadan and the EndSARs protests in the western and eastern parts of the country, against the earlier reported N475 billion.
The National President, Northern Consensus Movement, Awwal Abdullahi Aliu, had said that the Federal Government had failed to meet all their demands, hence the commencement of the strike declared by the groups. He stated that all the border roads between the North and West, North and South, and the North and East had been blocked against trucks carrying foodstuffs and other consumables from the North to any part of the South.
The vice chairman of the Kwara State branch of the MACBAN, Alli Mohammad, said Kwara State was yet to carry out the association’s demand except for some other northern states like Niger and Bauchi states which he said had started giving in to its demand. Mohammad, who said that a meeting had been scheduled for Sunday to decide when to start the implementation of the demand in Kwara State, added that in the event of default, the food traders would not necessarily be disallowed from entering the state but the traders would not even come with their goods.
“Except those who may decide to take other routes to get to the state or those who may act in defiance to the directive, the traders would not come from the North and those who come may be stopped or sanctioned,” he said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, said that the command was not aware of such development in the state. But a son of the traditional ruler of Jebba, Prince Ibrahim Adebara, confirmed the development.
The comptroller of Customs in charge of Sokoto and Zamfara states, Alhaji Abdulhameed Ma’aji, said they had provided advanced solutions to ease the exportation of made in Nigeria products.

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