The President, Association of Market Men and Women of Oyo State who doubles as the Babaloja General of Bodija Market, Alhaji (Chief) Ismaila Jimoh has laid the blame of scarcity of food items, which has led to skyrocket market price on the federal government, saying the Buhari government is intentionally hurting Oyo State people.
Alhaji Jimoh who spoke with journalists during an interview with Aloore Radio of the Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in Ibadan on Wednesday, said all the policies of the federal government on the economy were targeted at hurting the ordinary people in the country, especially in the South-West, with the lackluster attitude of the federal government to attacks by herders on farmers, which had made majority of farmers to abandon their farms and crops.
He said all the efforts of Oyo State government to stamp out the problems of herders were not supported by the central government, which has emboldened the culprits to also engage in kidnapping and other destructive vices.
“You cannot expect the governor, who has been expending so much to support the security agencies so as to stop the activities of criminals, especially those attacking the heart of the people’s survival, which is farming, to be blamed for the rise in the price of good commodities, the governor tries to relate well with the heads of these security agencies, but they report to Abuja, the body language of President Buhari has shown that he has no clear solution to insecurity and the result is all over us.
“The federal government has not been fair to Oyo State, the President is playing politics where he suppose to play leadership role, remember when the were shutting down economic activities in every other State and people were dying of hunger, it was only Oyo State that did not shut its economy, it only stepped up advocacy and enforcement of Covid-19 regulatory steps.
“The herdsmen have chased out many of our farmers from their farms, they cried out at a time last year that grains will be scarce this year but the federal government did not do anything, today you can see what is happening,” he lamented.
The Babaloja said the food traders all over Oyo State have made up their minds to give their support to governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State in his efforts to make life bearable for the citizens of the State.
He maintained that the policies and programmes of the State administration have been the only survival means for the ordinary people of the State, who he said have been suffering poor economic policies of the Buhari-led government.
Ismaila added that another area where the federal government has been killing the South-west economy was the activities of the Nigerian Customs Service, who he said routinely broke into people’s shops in the middle of the night at Bodija, the biggest food market in the Southwest, Orita-Merin and Oja-Oba, all in Ibadan, carting away over eight thousand bags of rice and over five million naira met in some of these shops.
“As if the crisis of the herdsmen is not enough, the federal government set another herdsmen in uniform to us to come and raid our shops in the middle of the night, carting away about eight thousand bags of rice from Bodija, Orita-Merin and Ojaaba, they took away cash that is up to five million naira and other items as well.
“The duty of the customs men is to be at the borders of the country to stop illegal importation, not to be creating nuisance, killing innocent people while they claim they are raiding, where does that leave us as Nigerians?” he asked rhetorically.