From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AFUCDN), has given the Federal Government till February 24 to address their demands or face total withdrawal of services nationwide.
In a press briefing on Sunday, the leadership of the union said said since the #ENDSARS protest in October, there has been incessant attacks on their members and their properties across the 36 states of the country, including Abuja.
The Secretary General of AFUCDN, Ahmed Alarama, referred to the recent violence that erupted in Sasa in Ibadan, Oyo State, where he alleged that some of their members were killed and their properties destroyed.
He said the union had written to the federal government, state governments, first class emirs, amongst others about their tragedy but has not gotten any reply from any.
The group said they are demanding that the federal government brokers an agreement between state governments and AFUCDN to the extent: “that henceforth if any violence of any nature erupts in that state and our members are attacked, we will not hesitate to immediately withdraw our services.”
“Based on the above, we are therefore giving the federal government of Nigeria seven days ultimatum from the date of receipt of acknowledgement, within which to address the issues raised or we will have no option than to call our members on a nationwide strike,” he said.
Alarama further said if nothing is done to address the plight of their members at the end of the ultimatum, they will have no alternative than to stop movement of their cattle and goods around the country. He said that there is currently a lot of distrust and disunity in the country.
“We have urged the government to intervene in order not to create a situation which will lead to chaos and breakdown of law and order. Our members have continued to suffer intimidation, frustration, humiliation and destruction of their goods.
“Given the lack of safety of our members and their properties nationwide, imposition of multiple taxations on the highways, despite our contribution to peace, progress, unity and economic growth of Nigeria, our members under the AUFUCDN demand that President Muhammadu Buhari revisit our demands and address the issues bedeviling us, including compensation for lives and properties lost.
“We demand that government protect the rights of our members while on transit and at their places of doing business, to dismantle illegal road blocks mounted on the highways by hoodlums in total disregard to laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, most especially from Adamawa, Taraba, Benue down to Port Harcourt,” he said.