Members of the Onion Dealers Association of Nigeria have claimed they lost over N13 million to the recent seizure of onion trucks heading to the South-East.
This was revealed by the Secretary of Onions Dealers Association in Imo State, Halilu Muhammad.
According to him, the association has withdrawn onion shipments to the region until further notice.
He said the move came after gunmen stopped two onion trucks and sold them to locals for N9,000 per bag instead of N15,000.
Muhammad added that at the time of the attack, security forces responded and clashed with those suspected of carrying out the attack.
He said, ”Well, there were two trucks conveying onions from Kano State. These people stopped the vehicles and seized the drivers and the vehicles and they later drove the vehicles to one side where they ransacked and sold all the onions before we could get the security agencies to get to the area.
“Each bag of the onion cost at least N15,000 at market price but they sold each of the bags at N9,000.
“The people who carried out the attack were Biafran militants, who were marching with their flags. They carried out the attack, looted the goods and sold each and every one of the onions conveyed in the vehicle.
”The attack was carried out at the market where these vehicles were stopped and ransacked. They gave out a price and sold each bag of the onions at the price of N9,000 and went away with the money.
“Before security agencies arrived, they have already sold out all the onions in one vehicle. It was after security agencies arrived that we moved the other vehicle to a safer place so that they would not attack again and possibly go with the vehicle.
”The incident has already affected both the people in that area as well as those traders who engage in such businesses. Now, people are already in fear, and those drivers have lost the peace of mind to convey onions to Imo state. Everyone is scared of the probable danger. We have so many vehicles on the ground whose drivers refused to convey onions to Imo state.
“But we are keeping in touch with our leaders, our traditional rulers and government to look into the situation for appropriate action.”