George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The Igbo National Congress (INC) has launched what it calls ‘Operation Lion Walk’, a regional security network for the protection of the south-east forests and farmlands against the murder and maiming of local farmers by marauding Fulani herdsmen.
The leadership of the INC stated that, with the seeming failure of South-East governors to establish a regional vigilante force, the group would no longer condone the killings, maimings and rapings of the farmers by violent Fulani herdsmen said to be hiding in forests in the region.
The Igbo group had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum to what it called the ‘jihadist killer herdsmen’ to vacate the forests and farmlands of the South-East.
INC National President Godsent Chilos, who unveiled the security force the Monday during a press briefing, said that the INC worldwide, having examined the tenuous security situation in the country as it affects the Igboland, have decided on the formation of ‘Operation Lion Walk’.
‘In defiance to this quit notice, the jihadists killer herdsmen have continued to attack communities in Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo states, respectively. On Friday, 12th June 2020, a group of jihadist killer herdsmen who were still hiding in some forests in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State attacked and brutally killed a man in cold blood at Mbano Autonomous Community in Agwa clan, Oguta LGA Imo State and fled,’ Chilos stated.
‘Cognisance of our rights to self-determination, this 15th day of June 2020, the Igbo National Council (INC) worldwide hereby launches “Operation Lion Walk” throughout the territories of the Igbo nation. This operation is aimed at fishing out and flushing out every criminal element who are criminally hiding in or occupying our farmlands and forests using same as hideouts to commit sacrilege against the Igbo nation.
‘On the above, the Igbo National Council (INC), therefore, charge all the town unions, traditional rulers and youth organisations of communities of the Igbo nation that has not constituted their vigilante groups to immediately do so and quickly commence the combing of their community farmlands and forests to fish out and flush out remnant’s of these criminal elements who are still hiding in some of our forests waiting for order to attack and attempt to invade Igbo land.’