Magnus Eze, Enugu
Grassroots based Igbo groups including the Biafran Voice International (BVI), Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and Coalition of Alaigbo Religious and Civil Society Organisations will this month organise a one million-man march against open grazing in Igboland.
President of ADF, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, who disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, indicated that the action was to prevail on Governors of South East and other Igbo speaking states to as a matter of urgency hasten the enactment of anti-open grazing law.
He blamed what people call herders-farmers’ clashes as a major root-cause of the present bloody security situation in Igboland and other parts of the country.
“What is more, criminals from West African and other countries have taken advantage of this situation to invade our communities wrecking all manner of havoc, killing, maiming, and kidnapping our innocent citizens, rapping our wives and daughters with reckless abandon.
“Therefore, the first step in tackling the security challenges is to control the free movement and grazing of cattle. We are not saying that nobody should rear cattle. All we are saying is that open grazing of cattle is bad for our security and is bad for our economy and our survival,” he stated.
According to the ADF President, the Igbo must “assert our collective resolve and call on our Governments to enact the anti-open grazing law as well as put in place all necessary measures to enforce the law.”
The group also faulted the community policing arrangement being worked out by the Inspector General of Police, as according to him, the Fulani-dominated police force cannot guarantee security of Igbo people.
ADF, instead charged the State Houses of Assembly in the region to quickly enact laws backing local security watch or vigilante groups in the communities.
The group urged people in the South East and other areas to immediately follow-suit the courageous and patriotic steps being taken and enforced by their kit-and-kin in the Anioma areas of Delta State to prevent the invasion of their territory by Fulani herdsmen.
“We must say no to the so-called community policing programme being propagated by the Nigerian Police which some Governors are cowardly and for some other reasons are accepting.
“To surrender our security to the Fulani-dominated Nigeria Police is like asking the hawks to police the chickens.
“We in the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) as well as other religious and civil society organizations in Alaigbo call on our people to take their destiny into their hands.
“Security is the joint responsibility of the people and their Government.
Any State Government that fails to take these legal and political measures to ensure the security of our ancestral homes must be declared an enemy of our people,” Nwala stated.