By Suzan Edeh
Bauchi—The Amalgamated Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria, ACDAN, has threatened to stop conveying cattle to southern parts of the country following alleged extortion by security men at various road blocks across the country.
National President of ACDAN, Alhaji Abdullahi Potiskum who made this known in an interview with newsmen, yesterday, in Bauchi, said the military and other securities agencies not only extort money from his members but manhandled the drivers carrying their goods on the highways throughout the country.
He said: ”Our members supply cattle to the eastern states. In the northern states like Adamawa, Borno and Kano states, they paid over N180,000 to security agents stationed on the roads. Those of us who supply cattle to the western states purchase our cattle from Sokoto and Zamfara states and we are made to pay N180,000 per trailer to security operatives, along the roads. This is higher than the transport fare.”
He said besides the extortion of huge sums of money, their members were forced by the security personnels to make outrageous expenditures on the road while engaging in their legitimate business.
Abdullahi further said,”the security personnel usually assault and delay any driver who refuses to pay or pay less than they demand. This has endangered our lives and our animals. On one occasion, one person died while many animals were lost on the road before they could reach their destination.”
He said the situation was even worse in the northern states like Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Nassarawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Benue and Kogi and in the Eastern States of Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo.
He said they had petitioned the Chief of Army Staff, Inspector General of Police and ministers of Agriculture and Internal Affairs without positive reactions from them.
The Chairman who expressed his displeasure over the nonchalant attitude of the military and the Federal Government towards their plight, threatened that if Federal Government does not address the situation, they will have no other option than to stop supplying animals to the southern part of the country as they cannot continue to operate their business at a loss.