As the conversation on blockage food from the Northern Part of Nigeria to the South continues to form national discourse on Television and other media platform, Communication Expert and Right Activist, Ndi Kato has stressed that Northern Nigeria is not a monolith.
Kato who was a guest on AIT emphasized that before decision of starving a region of food supply particularly the Southern part of the country crops up, other tribes which make up the Northern part of the country should be consulted as the North is not only made up of Hausas and Fulanis.
According to her, ‘‘Northern Nigeria is not a monolith, if you’re going to include a lot of tribes in the geopolitical conversation that is known as Northern Nigeria, then we should be consulted and while in that conversation, I can assure you that the least of 150 tribes or if not more will tell you they do not have a part in it.”
Recall the prices of food had spiked double in the South following the threat and blockage of food by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) who alleged over 150 of their members were killed in the #EndSarsprotest and 100 killed in Sasha market crisis in Ibadan.
The group had threated to withdraw the services of their members nationwide if the Federal Government failed to pay them a whopping sum of N450 billion as compensation for the killings of their members and the losses incurred in the course of supplying foodstuff and cattle to different parts of the country. President of the union, Muhammad Tahir had said during a press conference in Abuja, few days ago.
The decision though, still at the early stage has met strict resistance and displeasure from members in some quarters has raised national concerns and worry. Afenifere, a yoruba socio-political group and Middle Belt Forum had also expressed deep worry and described it as ”unpatriotic and orchestrated.”
Speaking expressively on the matter, Kato explained that the Southern Kaduna people do not want to be part of the food blockage to the South and that one group cannot decide entirely for the whole region.
She noted, ”if you go to Southern Kaduna, our people do not want anything to do with the blockage. How do you lord over the rest of us and want to speak for the rest of us and say the entire North is not sending food to the South NO, you have included Benue, Nasarawa, Bauchi and all the tribe.
”You have not mentioned in the conversation of this blockage and these are the tribes that produce most of the food, so why are you saying you’re going to speak for us. How do you intend to stop the Plateau or Benue man from sending his food down to the South, if not through violence.”
Kato wondered how the Nigerian government keeps patting a section of the country on the back when issues that should be tackled explicitly come up. She observed that ”the last time we had a conversation in Nigeria about depriving the South East of Nigeria to be précised of food was during the civil war.
”What is happening at this point in time is, we have people telling us do not call for war, be careful but we have actively, members of Miyetti Allah doing act and declaring acts that imply that this is a war situation. We cannot continue to look at it as if it’s nothing.”
The outspoken Right Activist pointed out that if Nigeria want a headway out of the issues raised, then, there was need to hold an honest conversation. ”Northern Nigeria or the people who think Northern Nigeria is a monolith and can speak for, cannot continue to operate like this. At this point, certain tribes can now see that violence is enough to go round.” Also, the solution is to put context to why Nigeria is where it is now.”