Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago of Niger State has issued an Executive Order prohibiting the mopping up and buying of foodstuffs in mass quantities in local markets in the state.
The governor stated this in a press briefing at Government House, Minna over some burning issues in Niger he states that affect the citizens of the state.
He said the activities of the syndicate which specialized in mopping up food items in the markets were responsible for the breach of peace in Minna on Monday morning after inciting some youths and women that trucks meant for the city were being diverted to other places outside the state.
Bago said, however, the proactive intervention of security operatives prevented the looting of the trucks as planned by the syndicate as the trucks took another route.
“The syndicate of food speculators is also involved in mopping up chickens, local fowls, and goats. This is causing an astronomical hike in food items in our local markets,” he said.
He said the order has empowered traditional rulers and local government councils to prevent such brisk businesses and prosecute offenders, adding that calm has returned to the city.
However, the police have said it used “minimum force” to disperse the scores of protesters who blocked the Minna – Bida road on Monday morning thereby obstructing vehicular and human movements.
Police Image Maker in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun said, “We have to use minimum force to disperse the protesters when all efforts to convince them to vacate the road failed.