Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said it would support ranching business but such must be on owners’ private land.
This is just as it has challenged terrorists in the North including Arewa youths to do their worst after the expiration of the 30- day ultimatum they gave to the Federal government.
IPOB said that although it is a peaceful movement, it would not allow any attempt to force the people to part with their ancestral land for any RUGA settlement.
It further said that cattle business had remained personal outfit in Nigeria and there was no trick the Nigerian government would employ to change the narrative.
In a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, the group said: “IPOB will support ranching business but in your own private land not forcing people to release their ancestral land to anybody or Fulani people.
“IPOB is a peaceful movement and must remain so but cannot allow anybody to trample on us by forcing our people to release their ancestral land to them. We are aware that cattle business remains personal business in Nigeria and cannot change today. We advise the Federal Government of Nigeria and those behind this evil plan to retrace their steps before they spill over, claim more innocent lives and become uncontrollable.
“The community ancestral lands are gifts from the Most-High God handed over to them to dwell on which must not be taken over under any guise by the government or Fulani.
“We challenge Fulani Islamist terrorists including their Arewa youths to do their worst after the expiration of the so-called 30-day ultimatum as was widely reported in every national and international media; we are anxiously and eagerly waiting for them in whatever shape they may want it.”
Relating the demand for land for Fulani Ruga settlement in the South East, to the demand by Satan for Jesus Christ to bow before him to possess riches, the group said they should forget about such settlement in the South-East.
“Following the consistent pressure in disguise from Fulani government of Nigeria and her security forces for our people to release their ancestral lands for Fulani Ruga settlement in Biafraland, it is exactly the same way Satan asked Christ to bow before him in order to possess the riches of the earth.
“Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt particularly Biafrans must understand that Ruga settlement is totally to fix Fulani with the indigenous people that will cause them harm in the near future.
“How can Fulani kill pregnant women, children, displace people from their homes and their God-given ancestral land and still government has the temerity to force them to release land to them.
“The use of force to establish Ruga settlement for Fulani in all the 36 states of Nigeria is a clear indication that Nigeria government is behind every attack on people by Fulani herdsmen since the year 2001.
“IPOB says no to it and that can’t happen on any Biafran soil. Ruga settlement for Fulani and National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) are the same but cannot be allowed here in Biafraland no matter the high level they take it to because it is all about taking over our ancestral land by force.
“We cannot rule out that Igbo are much involved in the cattle business but don’t have herdsmen who live and wander in the bushes and forests across the country.
“We are still wondering why the Federal government and the Fulani people are desperate in looking for Ruga settlement in our land.
“We must do the needful to defend ourselves and our properties by stopping this aggression, violent incursion and land-grabbing no matter what it takes to do so.”