Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), has hailed former defence minister, General Theophilus Danjuma (retd) over his call for Nigerians to defend themselves against Fulani herdsmen.
Danjuma had on Saturday, at the convocation of Taraba State University, urged Nigerians to use whatever means at their disposal to defend themselves against killers, accusing the military of complicity.
His declaration has continued to generate mixed reactions across the country.
A statement issued yesterday by OYC’s President, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, and made available to newsmen, said Danjuma’s stand was a further affirmation of earlier call they had made.
The OYC had, shortly after herdsmen attacked Ebonyi State communities, vowed to return fire for fire, should such killings re-occur in any part of Igboland.
The group had accused the Federal Government of double standard in the handling of Fulani herdsmen’s killings and Igbo youths’ non-violent agitation for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra.
“Hence, we, hereby, tell Igbo youths to form rings to guide and protect their communities and farmlands, and deal decisively with anybody destroying their farmlands through cow grazing and or bearing arms, but not a known licensed security person.
“We warn that nobody has monopoly of violence and Igbo nation will surely defend itself. Enough is enough.
“Any armed herdsman sighted anywhere in the South East will have himself to blame. Arise and defend Igboland through well recognised vigilance groups,” it stated on the eve of Ebonyi attack.
The group re-echoed its earlier stand for self-defence against the rampaging herdsmen.
“Danjuma has justified the position of Ohanaeze youths worldwide, we will resist any attempt to forcefully Islamise our people and we are ready to resist the herdsmen.
“Like Danjuma clearly pointed out, there seems to be a serious collaboration between security agencies and the herdsmen.
“It appears there are two laws in this country, one for the Igbo and another for the Hausa-Fulani.
“How else can one justify the recent statements in the media that the government was considering amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists? It is shocking and unthinkable.
“This is the same government that hurriedly branded the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation, but is now courting internationally acclaimed terrorists.
“So, nobody should expect that Ndigbo should fold their arms while the killer herdsmen come here and achieve their evil agenda. We shall resist it with the last drop of our blood.
“We have enough men and youths to resist them before they get into the Atlantic.
“We urge more Nigerians to speak up. We are proud of some governors in the South East, who have come up to defend the course of Ndigbo,” the group said.