Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, said he had engaged with Yoruba rights fighter, Mr Sunday Adeyemo, known as Sunday Igboho, over the demands made by Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, (AUFCDN) to lift their food blockade to Southern Nigeria.
Bello who was in company of former aviation minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode commended the traders for calling off their strike.
Aside Igboho, Bello said he would also engage with President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and other stakeholders to ensure peaceful co-existence among Nigerians to ensure that the demands of the traders were met and to make sure that everyone embraced peace.
The governor advised the traders to be wary of people, wanting to use them to stir violence, saying that Nigeria had come a long way as a united nation.
“In order not to allow these losses to continue, call off your strike immediately and that will allow us to ensure that your demands are met.
“You are not asking for good roads, security on the highways, modern shops, or facilities like loans or bailout, you are only asking for justice and that the laws of the land should be applied.
“I want to assure you that these five demands and even more will come your way and we are starting now.
“I will follow up with Mr President and even if I have to go down south to meet with all the governors. Believe me, whether APC or PDP, no governor will condone crisis.
“We must show to the world that we have the capacity of solving our own problems," he said.
NPOreports had reported that the Chairman of the group, Mr Mohammed Tahir, said the association embarked on the strike in a bid to stop food and cattle supplies to Nigeria’s South-West, South-East and South-South.
Tahir said, however, that the association had decided to resume supplies, following appeals by Bello and other prominent Nigerians, who had been pleading with the traders.
Tahir said that the association had chosen to toe the line of peace in resolving the matter, rather than carrying out reprisal attacks on fellow Nigerians.
In his words: “Instead of reprisal attack, the only civil way to make our voices heard was to cut the supply of food and that has worked.
Tahir, however, listed 5 demands that must be met to avert another blockage of food to the south.
1. “We demand compensation for those who died in the South and attention for those still in the hospital.
2. “We demand that those who perpetrated these crimes should be punished.
3. “We want our people to be assured of their safety as they go about their lawful businesses.
4. “We want harassment by law enforcement agencies on our federal highways to be stopped.
5. “The extortion by all touts along federal highways, especially from North East or from the North to South-South and South East, particularly, be stopped.
Reacting to the demands, Bello said that their demands would be met.
He, therefore, lauded the traders for calling off their strike, praising them for not carrying out attacks on their fellow Nigerians.