From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
IGBO women at the weekend warned that if the 76 men of Ugwuleshi in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State abducted and held in prison custody in Umuahia, Abia State are not urgently released, they would re-enact what Igbo women did in 1929 that resulted in the Aba Women Riot.
The women under the aegis of Igbo Women Assembly (IWA) rising from an emergency meeting in Enugu, sounded “the alarm, that the trepidation, anguish and incontrollable pain in the hearts of our people today could turn to something unpleasant, if 76 young men abducted by soldiers on the orders of Fulani herdsmen are not unconditionally released without further delay.
“This humiliating display of sheer arrogance cannot be accepted by any self respecting people. The continuous detention of the Ugwuleshi 76 is immoral, ungodly and a naked show of persecution.
“We warn that if the Fulani herdsmen and their cousins in the army who see the army as an appendage of Fulani hegemony do not release these young men immediately, then we aver, that the Aba women’s riot of 1929 will be child’s play to the reaction of the Igbo Women Assembly to this painful humiliation to Easterners by people who seek to intimidate and dominate our people even in our own land.”
The women who spoke through IWA leader, Chief Mrs Mariah Okwor said that they aligned themselves to the Igbo Youth Movement’s (IYM) position “that the IPOB’s anger over this grave insult on Easterners is commendable.”
“It is a pity that our so-called leaders have quietly abdicated their leadership position out of fear and cowardice. History shall vindicate us, as the people are taking note of the silence of those who should have spoken up. To be fore warned is to be fore armed. This madness must stop. We have said this before; we are forced to repeat ourselves,” they warned.
Also in a separate statement, the founder of IYM, Evangelist Elliot Uko, said that the arrest by the military, instead of the police, of 76 young people at Ugwuleshi community over altercations with Fulani herdsmen was unacceptable to Igbo youths, saying that the act was seriously turning into an early seed for total break down of law and order.
“The ominous development at Ugwuleshi community on 17th March 2016, sends a very strong signal that some people own the Army and that they brazenly use it as an army of occupation.
“It is instructive that the Fulani herdsman did not invite the Nigerian police. They had more confidence in the Army. Which they know, they wholly own. If the Federal Government does not publicly investigate and punish, make public, the officer who speedily deployed the soldiers who came in several trucks to round up the 76 young men and whisked them away, to the jubilation of the Fulani herdsmen, then, the Federal Government will only be instituting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a legend, because he predicted this attack on Radio Biafra two years ago. Kanu said the Fulani herdsmen will seize the South East, South South and Middle Belt.”
He noted that if nothing was done by the government, the Fulani herdsmen’s action may have confirmed Kanu, a prophet and a hero.