THE Association of Onions Producers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria (OPMAN), has threatened to stop supplying onions to the entire southern part of Nigeria unless certain conditions laid down by the association are met.
The association disclosed that about N4.5 billion worth of onions and properties were destroyed by suspected hoodlums across the southern states in the last few months, apart from the loss of lives of members of the association without any compensation.
The national president of the association, Alhaji Aliyu Isa, disclosed this while addressing newsmen after an emergency meeting of the association held in his office in Sokoto, the state capital.
He called on state governors to urgently collaborate with the Federal Government to set up a committee to look into the root causes of the numerous attacks on members of the association or face consequences.
“Reference to the national executive meeting held today, we are here to report to the members of the public that the incident that happened in Aba, Abia State, Shasa in Oyo State and Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, respectively, results in the loss of lives of three members in Abia, destruction of about 30 trailers and 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. And in Shasha, we lost 27 lives, five trailers, 5,600 bags of onions, 12 utility cars and other valuables.
“Also in February this year, in Imo State, two trucks of onions worth about N13,000,000 were lost. 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 deliberations by the executive of members of this association and the failure of government to respond to our cry, we have thereby reached these decisions:
“We are calling on the state and Federal government to restore law and order in the state. We also called on the good people of the southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace as we are only living there for our lawful businesses.”
He, however, said if the government failed 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.
“There will be no truck that will offload onions by 12 midnight of Friday, June 11, 2021,” he added.