From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rebuffed claims that its proposed ban on cow meat in the South East from April was a declaration of war against northerners.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, yesterday, IPOB said the ban was only contemplated to avert incessant herders and farmers clashes in the region.
On retaliation by the northern group, which has also proposed a ban on products sold by Igbo in the North, Powerful said: “We did not ban cow meats but those cows that are destroying our farms and those raping our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms. Biafrans can eat foreign cows not the ones that can bring Fulani terrorists in our territories.
“This threat by these misguided northern groups that called themselves Northern Coalition Group has further confirmed the belief that the atrocities of Fulani rapists herdsmen in Biafra and other parts of Nigeria are a common agenda of the North, particularly the Fulani and their terrorists disguised as herdsmen and cattle rearers in all parts of Nigeria and Biafra.
“How come these hypocrites never threatened Fulani herdsmen as they invade communities and kill farmers in Biafra land without any provocation?
“Now that we have decided to boycott and ban cow meat and instruct our people not to eat beef, they now threatened us with war because they think we are vulnerable and weak. We are doing this so that we can have peace in our communities,” Powerful said.
Explaining further on reasons for the ban, Powerful said: “The northern coalition should have first questioned Fulani herdsmen on why they have sex with cows, film such abominable act by themselves and post the video to the world. What is the reason for such beastly behaviour? Who do they want to hypnotise?
“The baseless claim by northern coalition group and Arewa youth groups that IPOB has declared war against the North cannot fly because they started it by destroying alcohol and hotels belonging to Igbo people in the North while it does not belong to the Fulani only.
“IPOB is wise and knowledgeable enough to know what it means to declare war. We are, and remain a peaceful movement.
“We are only trying to safeguard Biafraland against further attacks and pollution by Fulani herdsmen. Nobody should misconstrue our honest action. Since the Federal Government and the compromised security agencies have failed to protect our communities against incessant attacks by Fulani herdsmen using their cows as excuse, we want to severe everything about cows so we can have our peace. We must not eat cow meat again that comes from Fulani people. Let them export their cow meat to other countries in West Africa and other African countries.
“The Sharia Police (Hishba), destroyed and keeps destroying many businesses in the North, especially alcohol and hotels majority of which are owned by Igbo business men, and the hell has never been let loose in retaliation and these heartless beast in human forms are still collecting VAT from alcohol and hotels. Nigeria government did not say anything about that.
“What is more than a declaration of war by the Fulani than that? Has the Federal Government or any northern state government, at any time, said anything against this barbarity? How can northern coalition maintain criminal silence over such atrocity but cry foul and threaten Amagedom over simple ban on defiled animals that have been the excuse for unprovoked attacks and wanton destruction of lives and property of innocent Biafrans by Fulani herdsmen.
“We want to encourage our people to be prepared for what is to come. Nobody should be taken unawares. Enough is enough.
“IPOB is ready to enforce this ban on cow meat. There are other alternatives to animal protein. We encourage our people to go into poultry farm, goat rearing and fish production. Nobody should dare violate this ban when it takes effect in April as doing so amounts to testing the will of the people,” Powerful said.