Mustapha Shu’aibu Sulaiman is the Chairman, Galadima Road Traders Association, Kano state. He narrated how suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) attacked their trucks carrying palm oil from the eastern part of the country to Kano State. Excerpts:
There is story going round that some traders from this market recorded loss while transporting goods from the eastern part of the country. What actually happened and where?
Two trucks fully loaded with palm oil belonging to our members were attacked in Nsukka Local Government in Enugu state on their way to Kano state from South East on Sunday.
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The two trucks were carrying 2,544 jerry cans of palm oil. One was carrying 1,056, while the other was carrying 1,488.
When they were stopped, our drivers left the trucks and ran into the bush to save their lives, and this is how the IPOB members set the trucks ablaze.
What is the value of these goods?
The value of the vehicles and the goods is worth over N80 million.
Who owns them?
The goods belong to our members numbering about 50, who are mostly small businessmen. Some have just 20 jerry cans, some 50, and so on. And, most of them, that was all they had and now both the goods and the trucks have been burnt down.
Even yesterday, some of these traders have attempted to stage protest with placards, but we were able to calm them down with the support of the police.
What exactly happened? We heard some traders were muting the idea of retaliation.
Yes, it is true that some of these traders wanted to take laws into their hands through reprisal attacks, but because we have a police outpost in the market, I coordinated them all in the police station through the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) there.
He asked every one of us to write all our statements there and advised us on the civil ways to follow as I explained earlier. The police handled the issue very well by calming the infuriated traders down. It was even the police that advised them on the right thing to do.
You know it is painful for someone to lose something this way, but thank God we have succeeded in changing their thoughts on the issue with the help of the police without the situation going out of hand.
We don’t want them to offend any innocent person.
So, what action are you planning to take now?
We have written a letter and will send to Kano State governor, the state House of Assembly, our senators and members of House of Representatives, the police, NEMA and all other relevant authorities for them to take the appropriate action.
We want the federal government to compel Enugu State Government to compensate us for everything that was burnt.
We also want our lawmakers to present a motion before the National Assembly on the need to put an end to all these. Even during the #EndSARS protest, over eight trucks belonging to northerners were burnt down and nothing was done. Now they are at it again.
We are also planning on instituting a legal action against them.
You mean this is not the first time?
They have been doing it for long. They attack our goods, beat our drivers, steal the goods and we don’t talk at all. Now, it has even reached an extent of burning the whole trucks and the goods they carry.
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