From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Traders in Singer Market, Kano state have threatened to sue National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for killing their member.
The traders drawn from the Kwanar Singer Market Traders Welfare Association had
on Wednesday, November 29, staged a protest against the alleged confiscation of their commodities, worth N7 million by NAFDAC on the premise that the goods do not bear the agency’s registration number.
The protest, was initially peaceful, when the market association called newsmen to vent their anger over the alleged clampdown by NAFDAC, but later turned violent as the irate traders started burning tyres and blocked Bello Road in the Kano metropolis.
As the protest continued, suddenly appeared the NAFDAC enforcement team and started shooting sporadically with live ammunition, which hit two persons.
One of the victim, 70-year old Abubakar Garba, died few hours at the hospital, while the injured one had been admitted at Dala Orthopedic Hospital.
Hence, the association, through its chairman, Alhaji Tijjani Usman, yesterday, threatened to take legal action against NAFDAC if it fails to compensate the family of the victims, especially the deceased one.
The chairman wondered why should people, who run their lawful businesses, be subjected to that kind of maltreatment.
According to him, the said commodities, which the NAFDAC claimed to have been sold without registration number, should have been checked right from the border, lamenting that the situation should not have involved such a heavy-handed approach.
“What happened in this market last week is condemnable and uncalled for. We are not happy with it at all. Why should the security agents come and shoot at random at us while we were running our lawful business?
“NAFDAC is accusing us of selling contraband goods which do not bear NAFDAC registration number, why should they not check and bar it from being siphoned here right at the border.
“So, we already informed the NAFDAC about what happens and they are yet to take action. As such, in the event NAFDAC fail to compensate the victims, we will go to court and file a lawsuit.
“Let me tell you that until now, NAFDAC has not even deemed it for to go and visit the family of the deceased, or condole with us, or visit the injured knee at hospital,” he said
The chairman however called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor of Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and other concerned authorities to intervene in the matter.
When contacted, the Kano State Coordinator of NAFDAC, Muhammad Bashir Mu’azu, denied that his men fired gunshots at the scene.
He argued that his men do not even carry guns, adding that he was not aware of the gunshot incident at all.
When told that the market association threatened to go to court, Mua’zu said “Ok, we are waiting for them.”