BY TONY EDIKE
…Over illegal levies, harassment by miscreants
ENUGU—FOOD crisis looms in the country as members of the Federated Foodstuff Dealers Association of Nigeria, FFDAN, yesterday, threatened to stop its distribution across the country if the Federal and state governments fail to intervene and stop imposition of incessant illegal levies and harassment by persons acting as members of task forces on federal highways.
National President of the Association, Chief Christian Afiaunwu, at a briefing lamented that the association had lost over 100 members to activities of these illegal task forces operating mostly at night.
He decried government alleged care free attitude to the plight of the association after several reports and petitions over the activities of the miscreants and its effect on the prices of foodstuff and the economy.
Call on govts to intervene
Afiaunwu, who was accompanied by the Association’s secretary, Udoka Ahukanna, said the association had refused to take the law into its hands by mobilizing members against these illegal agents, “because such a clash will lead to loss of lives and we don’t want that even though they have succeeded in killing our members on the road through their activities.
“We have restrained ourselves from taking an action that will affect the masses but we have no other option than to try out the strike alternative. If this strike is allowed we shall cut off the flow of food items throughout Nigeria and you know what that will mean; it will add to the hunger and starvation which is already biting hard.”
“We are dealers in all kinds of foodstuff and farm produce. We are engaged in the procurement and transportation of these products from one location to places where they are mostly needed; but we have been facing incessant harassment and intimidation on highways following the activities of miscreants who claim to be agent of government.”
Afiaunwu identified Obollo-Afor in Enugu State as one of the most notorious points where their members had suffered untold havoc and hardship as they were regularly compelled to part with substantial
sums under the guise of taxes and government revenues.
“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 comes out of such a report,” he said.
He listed the areas where the activities of these hoodlums are mostly experienced to include North East, North Central, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi and Enugu states describing Obollo-Afor as the most
“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 amongst themselves and you cannot do anything,” Afiaunwu further said while urging the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the matter.