The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has named institutional failure and inequality as factors responsible for the recent blockade of livestock and produce in transit to southern Nigeria, which was orchestrated by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN).
Discussing the matter with journalists, AFAN National President Ibrahim Kabir asserted that the blockade resulted from the poor discharge of constitutional duties by relevant government organizations that could have mitigated the plight of AUFCDN members sooner.
According to Kabir, state governments must be capable of enforcing security within their respective domains. Otherwise, he warned, such events could completely destabilize the whole country.
He went on to explain that the union’s broad action, which lasted for about a week before it was called off, negatively affected AFAN member farmers.
“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,” Kabir stated.
The AFAN boss praised President Muhammadu Buhari for intervening in the situation by organizing a dialogue between Kogi State Gov. Yahaya Bello and AUFCDN leadership.
The meeting between the two parties, which was held in Abuja, resulted in an order issued by the union’s national president, Mohammed Tahir, to suspend the blockade and subsequently resume the movement of food items to the south.