Magnus Eze, Enugu
The leadership of town unions in the five South East states rose from an enlarged meeting, which comprised major Igbo socio-cultural advocacy groups, yesterday, and called on Ndigbo across the country; especially those resident within the region, to brace up and defend their homeland against imminent invasion by armed herdsmen.
Groups at the meeting were the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), Igbo Women Assembly (IWA), Ogbako Igbo Traders of Nigeria, Pro-Biafra Coalition Organisations, and the Billie Human Rights Initiative, among others.
A communiqué from the emergency consultative caucus of concerned Pan-Igbo organisations, which deliberated on “issues of grave and urgent importance that threaten the peace, development and security situation in Alaigbo and elsewhere in the country” alleged that there are obvious agendas of a bloody Islamisation to conquer, occupy, take over and enslave Alaigbo and elsewhere, in Nigeria.
Signatories to the communiqué were ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, Secretary, Prof. Nath Aniekwu, Secretary, ILT, Prof. Elochukwu Amucheazi, ASETU National President, Chief Emeka Diwe, Chairman, ADF Publicity Bureau, Chief Abia Onyike and representative of coalition of pro-Biafra groups, Comrade Uchenna Madu, among others.
“Ndigbo should do everything in their power to defend themselves, their wives, children and their ancestral land. “Set up a joint-committee of pan-Igbo organisations and prepare memorandum to alert Ndigbo in Nigeria, and in the Diaspora, on the peace, development and security of Alaigbo on all stakeholders in Alaigbo, including the governments and traditional institutions in Alaigbo; to pursue a common agenda in the interest of the survival of Ndigbo. “Call on Umuigbo world-wide to liaise with the patriotic pan-Igbo organisations to ensure that all needed resources in Alaigbo support all the patriotic forces engaged in the struggle for Igbo emancipation and security.
“That Ndigbo should seek possible working relationship with other nationalities to ensure collective defence of their territories from the jihadists.
“Continue to promote the Akuruo-Ulo (invest at home) movement through the agency of the town unions and the various Traders organisations of Ndigbo,” a part of the communique stated.
They also agreed to engage in constant consultations and collaborative efforts to promote the peace, security and development of Igboland.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo had, prior to this period, called on the town unions to defend their domains.
Two weeks ago, Yoruba and Igbo leaders raised the alarm over nefarious activities of suspected Fulani herders in the South West, South South and South East.
Yoruba elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, clerics and others, in separate reactions, said the entire southern Nigeria has been turned into a killing field by herders, who, they claimed, have not only laid siege to, but are terrorising and killing with impunity.
The Yoruba Council of Elders, in a statement on May 27, said until decisive actions were taken against the herdsmen killing Nigerians, in the name of protecting their cows, the problem will persist and the country will remain worse for it.
But, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) have asked the Igbo to rise up and defend themselves.
Nwodo, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Chief Emeka Attamah, indicated that the town unions were already mandated to do so.
The Ohanaeze leader said former President Olusegun Obasanjo was apt in a recent alarm of a well-orchestrated agenda to Islamise and Fulanise Nigeria.