Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and the leadership of the Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria on Wednesday met with the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Addressing State House Correspondents after the closed door meeting at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, the governor said he briefed the Chief of Staff on the decision of the union to call off its strike.
Bello said members of the union had agreed to resume supply of foodstuff and cattle to the southern parts of the country.
The governor, who was accompanied by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, expressed optimism that the demands of the union would be presented to President Buhari for prompt action.
He affirmed that he had gotten commitment from all aggrieved parties to sheath their swords in order to end the hardship occasioned by the food embargo.
He said: “I have gotten the commitment of the Union, in order for us not to continue to have this hardship across the country, to lift the ban on food and livestock transportation to the South.
“I have also gotten major commitment from people from the South not to attack people of Hausa/Fulani and the traders in the South and that the criminals among them, irrespective of tribe and religion, should be handed over to law enforcement agents.
“I have also gotten the commitment that their lives and properties will be protected.
“So, these are the messages we brought to the the Chief of Staff to convey to the President.”
Bello also spoke on the demands, which the traders wanted the President to meet, saying: “Number one demand is to ensure that their goods and the lives of their members anywhere in the country are safe.
“On this note, we have brought the demands to Mr. President, through the Chief of Staff and how we’ve been able to resolve the matter.
“The Chief of Staff is going to convey the message to Mr. President.
“The association demanded that its members that are killed, they are requiring that compensation be paid for the lives and livelihood that were destroyed in the South.
“All those who committed those crimes should be brought to justice, the harassment by law enforcement agencies on our federal highways be stopped, the extortion by all touts along federal highways, especially from North East or from the North to South South and South East, particularly, be stopped.
“We’ve presented those demands to the government because before now, they have reached out to every authority in the land and there seemed to be no positive response to the demand.”
Also speaking, Fani-Kayode described the intervention of the governor as a welcome development, saying: “This is more or less like a miracle as he acted within 72 hours, which led to a positive resolution.
“And that is extremely impressive.
“And I believe that by this intervention in national issue, if we have this sort of strong leadership across party lines, our country would be a much better place in the future.”