From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Association of Market Men and Women of Oyo State has blamed the Federal Government for the scarcity and exorbitant prices of food items in the state.
Its President, Chief Ismaila Jimoh, in an interview with journalists in Ibadan, yesterday, said it was the scarcity of the foods that had led to prices skyrocketing and that consumers in the state should blame the Federal Government and not the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
Jimoh, who is also as the Babaloja-General of Bodija Market in Ibadan, said insecurity which had forced most farmers to abandon their farms and raids by officials of the Nigerian Customs had combined to create the scarcity of most staple foods in the state.
Said Jimoh: “As if the crisis of the herdsmen is not enough, the Federal Government sent another herdsmen in uniform to us to come and raid our shops in the middle of the night, carting away about 8,000 bags of rice from Bodija, Orita-Merin and Oja’ba. They took away cash that is up to N5million and other items as well.
“The duty of the customs men is to be at borders of the country to stop illegal importation, not to be creating nuisance, killing innocent people while they claim they are raiding. Where does that leave us as Nigerians?
“You cannot expect the governor, who has been expending so much to support the security agencies so as to stop the activities of criminals, especially those attacking the heart of the people’s survival, which is farming, to be blamed for the rise in the price of good commodities. The governor tries to relate well with the heads of these security agencies, but they report to Abuja. The body language of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown that he has no clear solution to insecurity and the result is all over us. The Federal Government has not been fair to Oyo State. The President is playing politics where he is supposed to play leadership. Remember when they were shutting down economic activities in every other state and people were dying of hunger, it was only Oyo State that did not shut its economy. It only stepped up advocacy and enforcement of COVID-19 regulatory steps.”
He said herdsmen have chased out many farmers from their farms.
“They cried out at a time last year that grains will be scarce this year, but the Federal Government did not do anything. Today you can see what is happening.”
Jimoh said food traders all over the state have made up their minds to give their support to Governor Seyi Makinde in his efforts to make life bearable for citizens of the state.
He maintained that the policies and programmes of the present administration have been the only survival means for ordinary people of the state, who he said have been suffering from the purported poor economic policies of the Buhari-led government.