The Economic Civil War Between The North And The South (A Must Read)

The ‘Economic Civil War’ Between The North And The South (A Must Read)

by NwanyiAbia

With the recent cattle rearers and foodstuff dealers’ strike, a second war has ensued in Nigeria. For now, many are unaware of it. One of the major determinants of the 1967-1970 civil war was the economic blockade imposed on Eastern Nigeria (now Southeast and South-south): a repeat of this looms large; however, this time, the south is not primarily at the receiving end.

It is a cliche in Nigeria, which goes mostly unchallenged, that The north feeds the country; this is intricately accurate. Northern Nigeria is made up of 60% farmers while the south is made up of, mostly, industrialists, business people, service-based occupations, academicians, and general consumers.

It is against this backdrop that the recent occurrences in Nigeria erupted. Northerners are natural farmers, cattle rearers, livestock farmers, large-scale agriculturalists producing cash crops like tomatoes, onions, potatoes, vegetables, dairy products, etc. that are everyday products for 90% of families in Nigeria.
The south on the other hand, as it regards food production, are mostly consumers, this will be the front that gave the north the leverage to embark on a strike.

The Hausa/ Fulani herdsmen have been in constant conflict with other communities of the country, being nomadic, they move around the country with their cattles, goats, and other livestock to graze and trade. During the course of their grazing, they often loosely encroach into private spaces, farmlands destroying people’s means of livelihood.

These often degenerate into clashes that have claimed the lives of countless Nigerians.


Seeing that open grazing of cattle has become one of the flashpoints for insecurity Governors of all six states in the southwest imposed a ban on open grazing of cattle across the region.

The Cattle and Foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) on Thursday February 25, began a nationwide strike following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government to attend to their demands of N475 billion compensation for lives of their members and properties lost.

These demands, conveniently, had no consideration to the lives and properties lost to the clash by members of host countries in the Southwest, Southeast, South-South, and the middle belt parts of the country.

An economic civil war is now in the air.
Mrs. Akirinade’s family live off of a budget of N1,000 for sunday rice and stew; unfortunately, Mrs. Akinrinade is unable to buy items for the sunday delicacies as it would ultimately cost her up to N3,000. It was way above her budget. It was either garri with egusi soup or yam and egg sauce.
Down south, Nwanyi Nnewi, a commercial food vendor was shocked when her tomato seller told her a custard was N2,000 and she was lucky to see some pieces at her shop as there was none at the market for sale. If she bought tomato at that cost and meat at N200 for a meagre piece, she would run into immense losses. She ended up buying mangala fish and palm fruits to prepare the famous ofe akwu to keep business rolling.
In the north, Aisha Mohammed, a tomato farmer had just concluded her 120 basket of tomato harvest awaiting her major shipment to Owerri in anticipation of sales worth about 2,400,000. The next morning, the strike was announced, she watched her tomatoes rot, one basket after another. They were subsequently thrown into the drench for animals to feed fat. Her heart bled.

The AUFCDN association leaders posed that they would rather sell their stock to Niger Republic than to fellow Nigerians. They have invariably imposed another economic blockade on the southern part of Nigeria just like it was done in 1967. This time around, the south doesn’t have to contend with bombs targetting their homelands, as well.

One important point that may have been lost to the agitators of this strike in the north is that the south will find food alternatives, but will the north find buyers for their goods? Niger has a population of 23.31 million, this is the population of Lagos and Enugu states. It is also important to note that Niger’s livestock and agricultural sector is not laid to rest: 80% of their population are farmers, and livestock rearing constitutes 18% of the overall country’s IGR.

As this economic civil war continues to rage, we ask again, who will the north sell their agricultural products to?

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