Traders cite insecurity and the government’s failure to compensate its members who suffered losses in the past.
The Onion Producers and Marketers Association (OPMAN) says it is discontinuing the supply of onions to the entire South from Monday, citing insecurity and the government’s failure to compensate its members who suffered losses in the past.
Aliyu Isa, the national president of the association, disclosed this when addressing journalists at a press briefing in Sokoto Sunday.
“If the government fails to adhere to the demands of the association, we are shutting down the supply of onions to the entire South by Monday, June 7, 2021,” Mr Isa was quoted by Daily Trust as saying.
According to him, about N4.5 billion worth of onions and properties were destroyed by suspected hoodlums across Southern states in the last few months in addition to the loss of lives of members of the association without any compensation.
The group listed incidents in in Aba, Abia State, Shasa in Oyo State and Mbaise local government area of Imo State, saying it lost three members, 30 trailers, nine utility cars, 50 stores and 10,000 bags of onions including other valuables.
“During the last EndSARS protests, other people were compensated leaving out our members,” he said.
“In Shaha where we lost 27 lives, 5 trailers, 5,600 bags of Onions, 12 utility cars and other valuables.
Also, in February, this year, in Imo State, two trucks of onions were lost worth about N13,000,000.
“The above problems resulted in our earlier action to suspend the supply of foodstuffs to the Southern States in February through our parent union.
“After full deliberation by the executive of members of this association and the failure of the government to respond to our cry, we have thereby reached these decisions,” he said.
He called on the federal and state governments to assist them so that they could sustain their businesses.
“We are calling on the state and federal government to restore law and order in the state.
“We also call on the good people of the Southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace, as we are only there for our lawful businesses.
“We also called on the state government to collaborate with the federal government to set up a committee to investigate the incident that leads to the loss of lives and properties of our members,” he said.