THE Igbo Improvement Union, also called Oganiru Ndi Igbo has called on the Nigerian Army to set up a probe panel that will unravel identities of soldiers who invaded Ugwuleshi Community in Enugu State, arrested 76 persons and threw them into jail without trial for protesting alleged abduction of two of their women by Fulani herdsmen.
The union also called on the Federal Government to prosecute Fulani herdsmen and the soldiers, and noted that the silence of the authorities is most provocative.
This was contained in a two-page communiqué issued at BENAC Hotel, Umuahia, at the weekend after a conference in which they deliberated extensively on the state of the Igbo nation in the Nigerian Federation.
They noted and emphasised that the driving force of the organisation remains the social, political, economic and cultural advancement of Ndi Igbo at home and in the diaspora through communal efforts and projects that are geared towards addressing the problems besetting the Igbo nation.
They deliberated on the interim reports of its various committees, namely, the committee on Igbo marginalisation, erosion control, mobilisation of Igbo youths, women, academia, market, religious organisation as well as Igbo in diaspora.
They also expressed concern over the ecological devastation of igbo land, particularly, the erosion menace which is being compounded by the indiscriminate excavation by federal and state government contractors.
They called on the state governments of the South eastern states to quickly regulate activities of the land excavators and prosecute the offenders.
They noted the effects of indiscriminate grazing by Fulani herdsmen of the already eroded soil of Igbo land and implored the Federal Government to excise Igbo land from the proposed national grazing routes/ranch as the vulnerable Igbo land can no longer sustain the desasterous effects of Fulani herdsmen over grazing on their ecology.
They regretted a situation where over 20 per cent of the total landmass of the Igbo has already been lost to erosion due to indiscriminate excavation, over grazing and the abandonment of the age old ancestral practice of man made ponds that channel water which curtails erosion. The communiqué was signed by 14 designated members of the organisation representing their states, including the National Secretary, Chief Edozie Njoku.