Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Igbo Union, an organisation of citizens and residents of Igbo extraction registered in the State of California, United States of America, have told governors of the South East states that history would be unkind to them, if they failed to protect their ancestral land.
The group also urged the governors to reject any community policing model prescribed by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, noting that it would amount to unwittingly handing over security of the region to their enemies. Rather, they urged the governors to take a cue from the Yoruba of the South West and model the security arrangement of the region toward the Amotekun outfit.
In a letter dated May 30, 2020, to the five South East governors and copied governors of Delta and Rivers states, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and archbishops of Roman Catholic and Anglican Communion in the region, the Igbo Union expressed concern over what it called the insensitivity of the state chief executives to the threat and terrorisation of Igbo by suspected Fulani herdsmen roaming the villages with their cattle and AK-47 rifles.
The letter, signed by the coordinator, Ikechukwu Orji, secretary-general, Matthew Ohanele, and director, diplomacy and outreach, Dr. Ray Chimezie, among others, therefore, charged the governors to liaise with the various state Houses of Assembly and ensure quick enactment of anti-open grazing laws in their states.
The Igbo group said: “There are lots of unanswered questions about your response to the influx of Fulani militia into Igboland, which skyrocketed during the lockdown. It is a fact of history that the Fulani believe in conquering other ethnicities and inhabiting their land. Clearly, the Fulani do not believe in ‘live and let live’ as the Igbo.
“They are sworn enemies of Ndi Igbo and want to take over Igboland as the inheritance of their forefathers. They want to force us to become Moslems. They believe in total and complete domination and enslavement of others as captives or subjects. Their leaders have referred to Igboland as conquered territory, and they are determined to take it as they have done in many parts of Benue, Plateau, and other non-Islamic states in northern Nigeria.
“Popular opinions and anecdotal sources seem to suggest that the governors in the South East are compromised and working in the interest of the ruling Islamic cabals rather than their states. Evidence that seem to support this allegation include the over 360 Fulani settlements in various forests in Igboland, your failure to respond to Fulani threats in Igbo villages, lopsided compensation of Fulani for cattle loss without doing same to affected Igbo people or villages, endorsing Fulani land-grab in Igboland by failing to enact anti-grazing law as was done in states like Benue.
“The Igbo Union wants to make it clear to Igbo governors that we object to the use of the template structured by the IGP. To develop the South East security network using the template of the person or persons masterminding terrorism and planning genocide in Igboland is preposterous. It falls short of what Ndi Igbo stand for or represent.”