The leadership of the northern cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), has agreed to end the blockade of food supplies to the south.
The association commenced its strike on Thursday, February 25, 2021, asking for N475 billion in compensation from the federal government for the destruction of their businesses and property in Ondo and Oyo States in January and February.
While the strike lasted, the prices of foodstuff, including beef and vegetables, soared in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city and economic capital among other parts in the South.
However, after an extensive dialogue and deliberation with the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello on Wednesday, the union agreed to call off the strike embarked upon by her members.
“The union led by the president, Dr Mohammed Tahir, Chairman of the union across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory alongside other critical stakeholders earlier met with the Governor of Kogi State for dialogue which was fruitful,” Onogwu Muhammed, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor told Vanguard.
In his remarks, Dr. Tahir commended governor Bello for wading into the crisis and ensured it was resolved noting the governor has demonstrated leadership which both parties greatly appreciated.
With this development, the union members will commence the movement of their products especially cattle, vegetables and other foodstuffs to the Southern part of Nigeria and vice versa.
They have been dared, abused, attacked, harassed, and demonised, yet they pretend as if they don’t watch the news. Nope, these Northerners watch the news more than us the Southerners.
They understand the consequences of war or tribal conflict, the Igbos and Yorubas living with them has been classified as their fellow Citizens, and they treat us right in the North because they understand the meaning of PEACE.
They have nothing to loose if this tribal conflict breaks out, but still they are as calm as the lakes in the desert.
In the past two days, they have raised funds for their evicted people from the South to be transported back to the North but they have not evicted anybody from the North.
In the past two days, they have buried their people over there in the South, but no Southerner has been buried in the North over tribal attacks.
I belive there is a limit to everything and everyone has a price, there is a limit to their Patience, endurance and understanding, I just hope we don’t cross those limits and stop this madness.
Let the recent crisis that has happened in this Country teach us that not all Notherners are evil, not all Yorubas are evil and not all Igbos are evil.
Racial profiling must stop, we must fight the crime and leave the Tribe, we must prosecute the criminal and leave his or her brothers out of it.
Between 2018 and 2019, huge number of kidnapped kids from the North were found in Southeast, you all can bear me witness that kids were kidnapped from Kano and Kaduna and then sold in Anambra and Imo States, yet these Northerners kept quiet.
Let’s all be calming down, no one is worst than the other, we all are humans and we are prone to making mistakes in life.
Value the peace of mind you have today, don’t throw that privilege away because of pride and ignorance.
Mr. Speaker sir, my decision to write to you at this material time is necessitated by the fact that your recent outburst and insistent on being a sectional leader using your position as the Speaker of the House of Representative is not only disgusting but a clear sign that you have lost touch with reality, especially considering how our Northern Representatives rally around you in your bid to be the leader of the House of Representatives in this 9th Assembly.
Your recent annoying insistence that you will only sign the 2021 Appropriation Bill for onward transmission to the President for assent if the End SARS Protesters are considered for compensation, despite the apparent undertone that the so called protest is targeted more at disrupting and destabilizing the popular government of President Muhammadu Buhari is another sign that you are somehow in concord with the real aim of the protest and that to me will be a betrayal trust.
Before your recent behavior which has succeeded in revealing your true colour, I used to consider you as a modern Nationalist, but not anymore, because, this your call has shown that you have no feelings for your fellow compatriots in the North, considering the number of years the people of the north, especially, that of the North East and recently the North West had suffered insurgency, banditry and senseless killings, which had led into an unquantifiable loss of means of livelihood.
Furthermore, according to amnesty international who reported that some security personnel used unnecessary and excessive force on some Shiite and IPOB members from the North West and South East geo political zones of the country in 2015 and 2016 respectively which resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Likewise, some security challenges like banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery which also claimed innocent lives in Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Plateau, Nassarawa and Benue states.
Sagaciously, to my greatest surprise, I thought Mr. Speaker, is a concern Nigerian and also a voice for all Nigerians regardless of region, religion, social or political background, but unfortunately, you are not, otherwise, you should have included the aforementioned incidences in your Plenary speech at the Chambers of the Honourable House of Representatives.
Since Mr. Speaker, has failed to do that. That is why I decided to give you ample time to ponder over your dummy split about the lives that End SARS claimed as you stated and apologies to each and every Nigerian for your trabalistic approach to this very sensitive issue. Therefore, I want to use this medium to draw your attention to the fact that during the time of your immediate predecessor Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the leadership of the House of Representative had successfully shun all divisive tendencies, the people of North East will remain ever grateful and appreciative of his modest effort towards the establishment of the North East Development Commission, which has contributed in no small major in addressing their daily plight for meaningful life, but we cannot remember any time in our recent history when Dogara or anyone before him threating to jeopardize the collective interest of the people of Nigeria for the interest of some few nonentities.
Mr. Speaker, we want you to know that what you are doing at the moment is nothing but an attempt to destroy the long political investment you have made in the minds of Nigerians, especially in the North, don’t also forget that the seat you are occupying at the moment supposed to be that of the North Central if the APC political realignment is to be taken into consideration.
Mr. Speaker, my call to you at this very stage is to honorably step down from your position since you are not capable of serving as a speaker for all Nigerians, so as to give way for a more competent and capable hand, capable of leading us to the Promised Land.
It is also my call to all well-meaning members of the National Assembly, particularly, those of the House of Representatives, to start a movement for the removal of Femi Gbajabiamila from the Speakership of the House of Representatives if you did not apologies for your arrogant contempt to the nation in the next seven (7) days.
Mr. Speaker, I will also like to remind you that the followership you have being enjoying from the members of the House of Representatives, is not that of a slave-master relation, but understandably for the good of the country, so don’t mistaken that for cowardice, as we are keenly watching and it appears it is high time they begin to withdraw their support for your insensitive leadership.
Finally, should you see any reason to be a responsible leader, then refused only to do any of your obligation in solidarity with the victims of Boko Haram, who have being pounded continuously for over ten (10) years now for no good reason and not the End SARS Protesters who have cost this nation greatly. What I expected from you in all this is to take the side of the men of our hardworking security operatives who were killed in broad day light for protecting the lives and properties of your fellow citizens, but that is not to be.
At the end, I will keep praying for these security challenges to come to an end. And I also pray for peaceful coexistence in every part of the country going forward.
United we stand and divided we fall, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Yours in humanity.
By: Alh. Umar Mohammed Maifata (Baraden Yalwa), Yalwa, Bauchi, Bauchi State. firstname.lastname@example.org
Something good is already happening. Something marvelous is in store, as Federal Government kick starts the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta – Kaduna – Kano (AKK) National Gas Pipeline Project next Tuesday. It’s another humongous signature milestone by President Muhammadu Buhari, which will leave his footprints inexorably on the sands of time.
Roads, Bridges, Rail, Airports, Social Investment, and many others. Buhari is doing great things, which will pedestal him in the pantheon of great Nigerian leaders. And now, he has struck again. He is kicking off the AKK pipeline project, which will carry gas between the southern and northern parts of the country. The project will eventually extend to North Africa.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) initially announced tenders for the project in July 2013. A project proposal was submitted to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission in June 2017, and the Federal Executive Council granted approval in December 2017. I tell you, this President Buhari has the heart of a lion.
If the intention was to continue to run the NNPC as an automated teller machine (ATM), as we have seen before in this country, will such staggering project ever be approved, not to talk of taking off? And some people are still asking for CHANGE, when it is right before their very eyes.
The 614 kilometers-long National Gas Pipeline is Phase One of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) project, to be done on build and transfer Public Private Partnership (PPP). It will transport 3,500 Million metric standard cubic feet per day of dehydrated gas from several gas gathering projects located in southern Nigeria.
The project will be in three phases. Phase One is 200 kilometers-long, between Ajaokuta and Abuja, at a projected cost of $855 Million.
Phase Two is 193 kilometers-long, between Abuja and Kaduna, to cost an estimated $835 million, while Phase Three is 221 kilometers-long, between Kaduna and Kano, at an approximate cost of $1.2 billion. The project will eventually reach North Africa in subsequent phases.
What will AKK pipeline project do for Nigeria? Great and wonderful things. It will create steady and guaranteed gas supply network between the North and South, and will enhance Power Generation Capacity. The industrial sector will be strengthened, local usage of gas will be promoted and increased, and the country’s revenue generation boosted through export of natural gas.
Nigeria is ranked the 7th most endowed natural gas country in the world. She sits on about 180 trillion cubic feet of natural gas deposits, which can be utilized as gas to power, gas to petrochemicals, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), among others.
Over the years, Nigeria has exploited its oil resources more, to the detriment of gas, which incidentally fetches more revenue, but is also more expensive to prospect. One big advantage the average Nigerian can look forward to is the evolvement of compressed natural gas (CNG), which is still at pilot stage in the country.
While presenting his performance report to the Federal Executive Council recently, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, spoke extensively about CNG, and what it can do for Nigeria as an alternative to petrol. He listed the challenges of the oil and gas sector to include; under-recovery, crude theft, insecurity, high cost of production, very low LPG penetration, refineries shutdown, long contracting cycle, among others.
Sylva stressed that the oil and gas sector remains critical to the Nigerian economy, even as we strive to diversify. He identified CNG and LPG penetration as priority. Said the Minister: “The switch to CNG will help reduce the burden of petrol subsidy on the finances of the country, and government should encourage Nigerians to use CNG as fuel for transportation.”
CNG began as a pilot project in the country in 2006, but target for conversion workshops was not met till 2015. About 4,000 vehicles run on CNG in Benin, Edo State, and it’s about 50% cheaper than petrol. Vehicles running on CNG, statistics show, save about N1,143 daily, compared with petrol. This amounts to over N30, 000 monthly. The cost of converting the car can thus be recovered within six months.
Gas is cleaner energy, cheaper than petrol, and more friendly to the environment. Global warming will, therefore, be slowed down.
More than 175,000 vehicles run on CNG in America today, and 23 million worldwide. Nigeria will join the number, and boost productivity.
The Buhari signature projects will remain landmarks in Nigeria. Help me count them: Roads, rail, bridges, airports, agriculture, AKK… and many more.
Surely, we will always remember this President for good.
By: Adesina is Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity