From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Irked by the threat of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) deploying 5,000 of its vigilante to the South East to protect herders in the zone, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has warned the association to steer clear from Igbo land, just as it has threatened to deploy its own outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to the North.
IPOB in a statement through its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful said that despite the group’s grievances with the South East governors, it considered the utterance of the leaders of Miyetti Allah as an insult to Ndigbo, warning that such move by the Fulani group would not be tolerated.
Powerful, while alleging that the South east governors were behind the bold move of the Miyetti Allah making such threats, pleaded with them to appreciate their sacrifice rather than betraying them.
Powerful said: “The Miyetti Allah and their terrorists group should know that they shouldn’t play God for ever. They are trying to provoke ESN and IPOB to take a drastic action. IPOB and ESN are running out of patience with their insults. They should retrace their steps now. Let them come, we are waiting for them. Soon they will see ESN in the North.
“Fulani terrorists are thinking that Biafraland is easy to penetrate the way they penetrated Hausa land and conquered them in 1804. If Miyetti Allah and their sponsors in Aso Rock attempt to do that in Biafra land what they did in Hausa land, they will regret their actions.
“ESN and IPOB are prepared for them. They can intimidate South East governors, but they can’t intimidate IPOB and ESN. No inch of Biafra land will be relinquished to Fulani jihadists.”
Meanwhile, the group has also alleged that the South East governors, traditional rulers as well as Ohanaeze Ndigbo are plotting to compile names of members of the group and send to the Federal Government for possible arrest.
According to Powerful, “this wicked move was suggested by the Nigerian government and her security operatives with hope to weaken IPOB and ESN making every effort to flush Fulani terrorist herdsmen out of our land.
“Our efforts to stop Fulani terrorists herdsmen in the East have indisputably intensified since the formation of ESN but regrettably, the politicians and government officials including local authorities in some communities in South East are sabotaging these efforts. They have bargained with Nigeria security agencies to abduct anybody suspected to be IPOB member or supporter.”
It lamented that “the South-Eastern governors in collaboration with all the traditional rulers in the zone and the PGs of all the communities in the zone are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible executions.
“The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and the army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone.
“Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone.
“It is unfortunate that our so-called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen were raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory.
“We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. We wonder why Government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.
“The Nigerian government and her partners in crime must understand that IPOB cannot be decimated no matter what they do. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB. The Federal Government of Nigeria which still sponsors killer Fulani terrorists herdsmen terrorising citizens in the zone cannot deny sponsoring the so-called unknown gunmen.
“If South East governors do not stop this plan against their people IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.
“We expect all traditional ruler and President Generals in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen, any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged,” Powerful warned.