The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has described as shameful and shocking the demand of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) to be allowed to establish vigilante group in Igboland, saying that will amount to a robber issuing notice of attack and one keeping quiet.
In a first ever press statement he signed, Kanu, who described Fulani cattle herdsmen as “Fulani army of darkness,” warned governors of the South East to await their calamitous end if ever such request is given a second thought.
This is as Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vehemently opposed any attempt by MACBAN to establish any form of vigilante group in Igboland.
Describing Fulani herdsmen as “the fourth most deadly terror group in the world,” Kanu shed tears that MACBAN was given audience at all in South East Governors’ meeting.
Part of his press statement read: “I condemn in totality, both in letter and spirit the underhand agreement between South East Governors and Fulani terrorists that led to the idiotic call by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), the fourth most deadly terror group in the world, for the establishment of Fulani terrorist vigilante groups in Igboland Biafra.
“Without much ado, I wish to state as follows: that it is extremely shocking and shameful that, at a time when Fulani cattle herders have turned to terrorists and ravaging the North, Middle Belt and Yorubaland, Southeast Governors allowed Miyetti Allah to get away with such criminal demand on our soil.
“It’s akin to telling someone in advance that you are coming to rob his house and he allowed you to just walk away, while pleading with you that you should reconsider.
“Instead of ordering their immediate arrest on the spot for daring to so brazenly reveal their criminal intention to invade Igboland, the spineless cowards that pass for South-East governors appear to want to accommodate their demands.
“No doubt as payback for being rigged back into power by Abba Kyari-led Fulani cabal that run the government of Nigeria.”
Kanu said that Miyetti Allah, a mere cattle trading association, that later turned into a militant terrorist organisation is now openly threatening to conquer Igboland with the help of Igbo governors.
He feared that “the weak and rambling response of Governor Dave Umahi to the demand” may be a tactical approval of the request and warned that IPOB will not tolerate the establishment of any Fulani militia, masquerading as vigilantes, in Southeast or anywhere else in Biafraland.
He lamented that it was IPOB’s intention to set up vigilante services, otherwise known as Biafran Security Services (BSS) that was used as the immediate excuse by the same Southeast Governors to proscribe IPOB, and proceeded to invite the Federal Government to declare IPOB a terrorist organisation, and then launched Operation Python Dance that claimed scores of innocent lives.
He said should the Fulani herdsmen venture into Igboland whether with the permission of Eastern governors or not, they will meet there waterloo.
Also, in a statement through Emeka Atama, the Media Adviser to its President General, Nnia Nwodo, Ohanaeze vowed to resist any attempt by Miyetti Allah to establish vigilance group in the South East.
Ohanaeze stated: “These people (Miyetti Allah) have ravaged our farms, raped our women and slaughtered their husbands.
“As at today they technically enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution. They freely display AK47 rifles not permitted to be used by civilians. Extending this measure to them will turn them into an army of occupation and invite unavoidable confrontations with our Youth,” Ohanaeze stated.
Ohanaeze therefore warned that it would resist such a policy with every might available to them.
Similarly, some analysts spoken to by newsmen said the suggestion that Fulani Youth Vigilante be used to curb insecurity in the South-East region would lead to breakdown of law and order owing to the perception already created by the activities of Fulani cattle breeders.
Evans Ufeli, a lawyer and public affairs analyst and Olayinka Ola-Daniels, also a lawyer and a social analyst had in a Television Continental (TVC) programme on Friday agreed that the use of Fulani youth vigilante could be ill-timed because of the issue of trust and the current issue on the burner where a lot of stories had been told of kidnapping, killings and maiming of people across the country which had been alleged to be carried out by Fulani herders.
Ola-Daniels said, “We have a system where we don’t trust ourselves in this country. There is Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and the leader of the group, Aare Ona Kakanfo Gani Adams had warned the Fulani herders recently to stay away from the South-West territory. The same thing applies to South-East, the region has its own vigilante group, which is known to the people and is trusted by the people. This issue relates to community policing. It is not proper for Fulani to want to offer security to South-East when the people have their own vigilante. They will not trust them enough. It is ill-timed to consider it now” he said.
They were of the view that MACBAN should consider implementing that in the North-Central and North-East regions which were more hit by herders/farmers conflict, banditry and other forms of security challenges before considering extending such services to other regions.
Ufeli said that not being able to curtail the problem in North-Central and North-East and then suggesting securing the South-East would not work. He said that it was the owners of the land that would tell when strangers entered their land because they know everyone. He maintained that it would pose a security risk considering the culture of jungle justice where people might not allow police prosecution before they mob, lynch or maim perceived criminals.
The analysts stressed that the allegations in some quarters that the Fulani ethnic group was planning domination of other regions of the country could also be a major setback to the prayer of MACBAN to offer protection, no matter how genuine it could look.
Miyetti Allah had made the request at the South East Security Summit in Enugu.