By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammedu Buhari has urged Nigerians to go about their lawful businesses as the country’s unity is not negotiable.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, said President Buhari stressed this when the Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, led him to brief the president on the suspension of the strike to block supply of foodstuffs and cattle to the southern part of Nigeria by the Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AFUCDN).
Addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Bello Buhari who commended the efforts to resolve the crisis said: “Mr. President expressed concern over the insecurity in the land. As the commander in chief, he has assured everyone of us based on his security meeting yesterday, that Nigeria is going to be secured, safe and prosperous and I believe in him 100 percent.
“He urged everyone of us to continue to go about our lawful businesses in the country, that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, that Nigeria must be united, peaceful and that Nigeria must be prosperous.”
Asked if other parts of the country will not want to tow the line AFUCDN and make similar demands, Bello said: “ And as regards the issue of the strike that took place and efforts to make sure it does not happen again, there were demands that were put forward by the amalgamated union, which has to do with compensation for lives and properties lost. Because, these are people who never requested that the government should give themselves subvention, this is their personal wealth and income and they are carrying on their lawful and peaceful businesses.
“But criminals took it upon themselves to hijack the process, kill these people in their hundreds destroyed properties worth billions of naira. Those that were killed, their families, the properties that were lost, where are they going to start from?
“They are demanding that federal government should do something and remember they’ve gone round the country, met various authorities and you know, they never received any attention. Hence, they embarked on that particular strike.
“They are demanding that the various extortion that takes place on our roads, starting from law enforcement agencies in some cases, and touts in most cases be stopped.
“And I thank God, Mr. President, has given directive to that effect, that all law enforcement agencies should ensure that traders should not be extorted on the road again.
“Yes, of course, from the point of loading and point of offloading they can pay the tax as required and they’ve been compliant. So they are asking that extortions be stopped and also that those who killed their members be brought to justice. I don’t think they’re asking for too much.