Yola — Members of the Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria have threatened to stop sending meat to the Southern parts of the country if the Federal and state governments fail to intervene and stop imposition of illegal levies and harassment by security personnel on highways.
National president of the association, Alhaji Hamman Jalo Wuno at a news conference, lamented that the association has lost many members to activities of what he described as illegal groups operating mostly at night.
"It is sad that government is showing care free attitude to the plight of the association despite the fact that we have sent several reports and petitions over the activities of miscreants to it", he said.
He said the association refused to take the law into its hands by mobilizing members against the illegal agents because such could lead to loss of lives.
"We have restrained ourselves from taking an action that will affect the masses, but we may try out the strike alternative if government fails to address the problem. If this strike is allowed to go on, we will cut off supply of cattle to the Southern part of the country, and you know what that will mean. It will add to the hunger and starvation which is already biting hard. We are dealers in cattle. We are engaged in the procurement and transportation of animals from one location to another, where they are most needed, but we have been facing incessant harassment and intimidation on highways following the activities of miscreants who claim to be agents of government," he said.
Wuno identified Benue and Obollo-Afor in Enugu State as two of the most notorious points where their members suffer untold hardship.
"At night, these agents consisting of miscreants who have built and constructed tents and huts by the roadside, mount road blocks with arms and rob our people and even when you run to the police, nothing is done," he said.
"Some of the areas where activities of the hoodlums are mostly experienced include North East, North Central, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi and Enugu States. Sometimes they will tell you that the cow or goat you are carrying is not fit for human consumption and in your presence, they will slaughter and share the meat among themselves and you cannot do anything," he said.