Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB) has warned governors of South East against consenting to Cattle Colony as proposed by the Federal Government.
The leader of MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, gave the warning, on Monday, in a statement he issued in Owerri, Imo State and made available to Daily Sun.
He threatened that MASSOB would declare any governor in the South-East states who accepts to operate a Cattle Colony, a saboteur.
His words: “MASSOB is making it clear that any state governor who cedes any part of our God-given land to these terrorists called Fulani herdsmen will be treated as an enemy of Ndigbo and Biafrans in general. The people of Biafra have their diverse cultural, traditional and religious heritage clearly different from the Arewa people, our social interactions, linguistic and nativities sharply differ from the people of Arewa land.
“MASSOB will never accept imposition of Islamic religion and culture on our people through any dubious means. We advise Igbo governors not to succumb to Buhari’s pressure in ceding out any portion of Igbo land to Fulani vampires; it will be disadvantageous to our people. An Igbo governor who succumbs to Hausa Fulani pressures against the interest and position of Ndigbo will be seen and treated as an Igbo saboteur who has invoked the wrath of our ancestors against his family.”
Madu also said that MASSOB was aware of the desperation by some governors in the zone to yield to the Federal Government proposal because of their political ambition, saying that such plans would fail.
He continued, “MASSOB and other pro-Biafra groups represent the genuine interest of the Ndigbo which can never be denied. If Yoruba leaders can eloquently support and collaborate with Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Hausa/Fulani (Arewa) leaders openly romance with Islamic fundamentals, including Boko Haram terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen for the goodness of their region and people, why is Igbo leaders afraid to support or collaborate with Biafra-agitating groups for the betterment of Igbo land and her people in security and civil protection of the lives and property of Ndigbo,” he queried.
Also yesterday, the Imo State Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Audu Diko, apologised to farmers in the state over the havoc wreaked on their farmlands by herdsmen.
Diko made the appeal during a meeting with the leadership of Hausa/Fulani herdsmen, Imo community farmers, and traditional rulers organized by the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike at the command’s headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
He maintained that farmers in the state are peace-loving, thus do not deserve any form of assault by the herdsmen.
The Miyetti Allah leader also noted that most violence attributed to the herders in Imo were perpetrated by unregistered and unidentified ones among them.
Some traditional rulers who spoke earlier had expressed concern over the continued destruction of their farmlands by herdsmen.
One of them, Eze George Eke, the Ishi Ubo of Ubomiri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area pleaded for the establishment of ranches in the state, pointing out that the process would solve the problem of constant clashes between the herdsmen and farmers.
The monarch said that, “the world is going into ranching, it saves herders from walking long distance; and the farmers from loss of farmlands. It comes with peace of mind and the cattle eat better”.
Another traditional leader, Eze Andrew Ezenwo of Awara community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, alongside Eze Iheanacho of Okigwe, recounted the ugly experiences of farmers in their communities with the herdsmen.
Ihenacho maintained that most of the farmers in his community were brutalised by the herdsmen.
He also disclosed that “during the dry season, there is no problem, but during the rainy season, the unidentified herders stray into our lands and destroy farms and harm farmers in the bush.”
While responding to their complaints, the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike promised the monarchs that the meeting would be more regular as demanded by the participants, adding that the committee on cattlemen/farmlands in the 27 councils be strengthened to solve problems before they escalate.