Food strike: Southern, Middle Belt Leaders kick over demand for compensation by cattle dealers, others

Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has condemned what it termed the outrageous financial demand as compensation from the Federal Government by the Food Sellers and Cattle Dealers Association for the damage suffered while the body was enforcing food blockade to the South-West, describing such as an assault on the sensibilities of non-Fulani in the country.

The blockade, which lasted for a period of six days, had since been called off, with the association now demanding billion of naira compensation based on their produce which got rotten during the period.

SMBLF made this condemnation on Sunday in a joint statement by Mr Yinka Odumakin for South-West, Chief Guy Ikokwu (South-East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle-Belt), saying it was this kind of pampering of a group whose members had been committing murderous activities and owning up to them without consequences that must have encouraged them.

This was just as the group of leaders said they were not unaware that the police that had not lifted a finger over the killing of Olufon of Ifon by herdsmen in broad daylight recently invited leaders of Ifon community to Abuja to come and explain missing cows, warning strongly against what it saw as an absence of justice in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari and “a vital signal that will do the country in if we go on with this waywardness.”

It also recalled the Benue massacre of January 2018 when 78 innocent people were slaughtered and “the president invited Governor Ortom to go and seek a peaceful way to live with his killer- neighbours.”

“The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum is appalled by the recent assault on the sensibilities of non-Fulani Nigerians by food sellers and cattle dealers association who were making outrageous financial demand as compensation from the government.

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“This is a group whose members have been committing murderous activities and owning up to them without consequences.

“When they admitted killing 78 people in Benue in January 2018, the President invited Governor Ortom to go and seek a peaceful way to live with his killer- neighbours.

“It is this kind of pampering that must have encouraged them. We are not unaware that the police that had not lifted a finger over the killing of Olufon of Ifon by herdsmen in broad daylight recently invited leaders of the Ifon community to Abuja to come and explain missing cows,” SMBLF said.

“The clear absence of justice in Buhari Nigeria is a vital signal that will do the country in if we go on with this waywardness,” it added.

The Forum, however, commended the Middle Belt Forum for the good sense they showed in condemning the blockage.

“We commend Middle Belt Forum for the good sense they showed in condemning the blockage even when the Nigerian rulers lost theirs during the taunt,” it said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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