Rising from the recent ethnic clash between the south-west and the northerners at the Sasha Market in Oyo State, prices of agricultural produces has been hiked and this has led to mixed reactions from the public as to how reasonable/genuine* the decision of the blockade is by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria (AUFCDA) with one Miyetti Allaha acting as the spokesman for the association.
Although it has not been clearly stated the reason or reasons for the blockade as another rumor has it that it is due to the alleged government order on the eviction of Fulani herdsmen which was as a result of the continuous killings of fellow citizens in their farmland and houses. The order made by the government led to the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria (AUFCDA)indulging in an indefinite strike seeking a withdrawal of the order from the government.
Either way, some critics have expressed their thoughts, and some even proposed possible solutions regarding the blockade and these are the opinions garnered from them.
For disclosure of the critics, they would be identified as Critic A, B, C, and D.
“The blockade is only a waste of time and the northerners causing pain to their fellow brothers and sisters because the proceeds will spoil converting to an increased poverty rate in the country”
Critic A claims that the blockade by the union is a totally bad idea as this would only evoke calamitous stimuli on the northerners. Critic A explains that because the proceeds are perishable items, they would get spoilt in quickly thereby leading to wasted effort. Critic A further explains that it wouldn’t just lead to a wasted effort on the part of the poor farmers, but increase the country’s rate of poverty as the farm produce serve as a source of livelihood to these farmers with the south-west being a larger consumer of the produces.
“What about the cattle rearers in Lagos, Ijebu, Ajebo village, Oshogbo, Ogbomosho, and Oyo town? If the so-called cattle dealers want to make the blockade to affect the south-west as they intend, they should withdraw all cattle rearers around town back to their state. Without this, their plan would not be so effective as it will only lead to an increase in the price of meat making it difficult for the poor to afford. People will only result in consuming fish, chicken, and even pork. We will only miss their suya”
This critic brings our consciousness to the cattle rearers in these south-western states. He torchlights on the presence of cattle rearers in each of these south-western states claiming there would still be ongoing sales of red meat in these states just that the prices of beef would be at an inflated price. Critic C however, states that this would only make living arduous for families earning below the average income as feeding is one of the three basic human needs. He however asserts that though the south-west might have to go for alternatives to beef, they would nonetheless miss the roasted meat made by the northerners.
“This should serve as a lesson to the south-west and even to Nigeria as a whole to avoid overly depending on people for resources especially the basic needs. I am also of the opinion that this will serve as an eye-opener to the south-west to shift focus. They should concentrate on producing their own farm produce. It would even bring down the supposed strength of the northerners in using agricultural produce to threaten fellow citizens as they did during the 1967 Biafran war. This would also create a positive competition in the production of agricultural produce, making south-west a major distributor of farm produce to other parts of the state”
Though this critic claims the south-west has been almost solely dependent on getting most of their farm produces from the northern states, the critic somewhat takes a different turn by establishing that this would gear up the south-west into shifting concentration to cultivating their produce. He further establishes that if a shift in concentration is made and the cultivating of large farm produce is being done well, this will, in turn, make the south-west alongside the northerners a major distributor of farm produce in Nigeria.
“Make an arrest, find people that have committed atrocities such as this, they should be arrested, they should be tried they should be convicted whatever the case might be. People need to see that there’s a system that is a system that is working in a place, that there’s a judiciary system that they can be scared of. Nobody is scared of anything right now. Many people feel that they can get away with crimes. The second thing is that the government has to be in the center of all of these”
This critic emphasis the need for a judiciary system to be effectively put in place. Critic D emphasizes that the government should be fully involved in disturbing situations of the country such as the north-south flood blockage crises and the killing by the herdsmen by making taking a strong stance in the arresting of whoever violates an order.
Amidst opinions on the north-south blockage, it is principal that peace and unity be maintained in all states especially at the Shasha market in Oyo where the recent ethnic violence occurred. The security forces should continue to ensure the safety of life and property amidst the crisis .