The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has said Northerners can withdraw their cows from the South but should not forget that the southern states produce petroleum, the country's economic mainstay.

Speaking on Friday, the group's National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said there are other sources of protein that the southerners could consume aside from cows.

"They should not forget that petroleum goes from South to the North. So, they should be careful. When you are throwing stones at your neighbours, you should be careful what he throws back at you," he told Daily Independent.

Odumakin said the North could not threaten the South with the withdrawal of cattle and other food produce as there are other places where the items can be purchased.

He listed countries such as Togo, the Benin Republic as friendly countries where the South can purchase cattle and other items withdrawn by the North.

According to him, the North's withdrawal of foodstuffs will benefit the South as it will make the people do more in agriculture.

"If they withdraw their cows from the South, no problem about that. Before cows, we had what we are eating. Cows are not the only source of protein; there are several other sources. It will encourage our people to do more in the area of agriculture.

"We have neighbours who are peaceful in Benin Republic, Togo and other places that we can buy things from. They can't threaten us with anything such as withdrawal of item."

There have been fears that an acute shortage of beef, vegetables, tomatoes and onions, among other essential edibles from the North, may soon hit Southern Nigeria as foodstuff and cattle breeders, under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) had four days ago threatened to withdraw their services.

SaharaReporters recall how the Middle Belt Forum described the attempted blockage of food items transported from Northern Nigeria to the South as a criminal act. 

In a statement signed by Pogu Bitrus, its national president, on Friday, the group called on the Federal government to address the issue that it said can throw the entire nation into chaos.

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