Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has raised an alarm over the negotiations of government with the Amalgamated Union of Traders and Cattle Breeders Association Union (AUTCBAU) to call off the stoppage of transporting food and cattle to the southern part of the country.
NEF, in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja on Friday by the Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the decision to call off the strike was reportedly brokered by the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on the instructions of President Muhammadu Buhari, conveyed through his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
They noted the decision of the leadership of the Amalgamated Union of Traders and Cattle Breeders Association Union (AUTCBAU) to call off its strike which took the form of stoppage of transporting food and cattle to the southern part of the country following attacks on its members and related threats.
The statement reads in part: “The Forum welcomes the decision of the Federal Government to address a major and prolonged grievance of transporters over multiple taxation and extortion on federal highways along the country’s eastern corridor all the way from Borno through Adamawa the states in the Southeast and the South-south.
“These illegal checkpoints, numbering more than one hundred, had been pronounced as illegal, yet they had been tolerated by all authorities. Their effects had been to stifle trade and massively raise the cost of transporting food items and cattle. The Forum hopes that this decision will be enforced comprehensively and immediately.