The Northern Nigeria conversation as opposed to Southern Nigeria talk is up again. This time, politics is not the driver. It is food.
Cattle and foodstuff traders in northern Nigeria under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria went on strike last week asking the government to pay compensation to its members that were recently attacked and ensure their protection.
The union demanded the payment of ₦475 billion in compensation for the lives of members and properties lost during the #EndSARS protest and Shasa market chaos.
Also, the group demanded that the government should order the dismantling of all roadblocks on federal highways.
The strike forced prices of onions, tomatoes, and beef to rise in several cities in Southern Nigeria. But, the union has agreed to resume transportation of food items to the south, after reaching an agreement at a meeting with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Wednesday.
The Union led by the president, Dr Mohammed Tahir as well as Chairmen of the Union across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT and critical stakeholders earlier met with the Governor behind closed doors.
Addressing journalists at the end of the interface, Dr Tahir said, “with this development, the Union members will commence the movement of their products especially cattle, vegetables and other foodstuffs to the Southern part of Nigeria and vice versa”, he stated.
But, before the drama reached that end, the conversation on agriculture came up on social media. Users asked why Southern Nigeria has relied so much on the North that such a blockade could cause rise in food prices and a scarcity – if it persists.
It also encouraged conversations on secession and the fact that the South could become active farmers again and have no need for the North.
The Union has asked for calm and that food will be supplied once again. But, what happens when they decide to go on a longer strike?
We may have to pay more for a bite then, and Northern farmers will lose as much money in two weeks than they may have lost in five years.
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram