FULANI HERDSMEN SET TO ATTACK I ENUGU STATE -- OHANAEZE ALERTS


 PRESS RELEASE

In the past couple of days, we have been treated to a cocktail of killings by Fulani herdsmen in several places in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria particularly the latest carnage in Plateau State. While we condemn this wanton destruction of lives and property of innocent Nigerians by bands of suspected Fulani herdsmen, we are more worried that the Federal Government and indeed the entire security architecture in the country have done very little to stop this menace. It is indeed disturbing that many communities in Nigeria are now potential targets for these herdsmen. Because the Federal Government and the security network have been less than effective in containing this mayhem, these herdsmen appear emboldened to put so many communities at risk. Today, more than ever before, Fulani herdsmen have shown brazen disregard to peoples farmlands and crops as they move about with their herds of cattle.
Enugu State, once a theatre of this carnage, has presently come under the murderous radar of these herdsmen again. As at today, no fewer than five communities are living in fear of herdsmen attack because of one allegation or the other by the leadership of Miyetti Allah in Enugu. Their latest allegation is that some persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen were killed or that some of their cows are missing.
Presently, Amagunze community in Nkanu-East LG, Okpanku in Aninri LG and Affa community in Udi LG all in Enugu State are at grave risk and danger of herdsmen attack following allegations by the leadership of Miyetti Allah that some of their cows are missing in these communities and that some Fulani men were killed. Affa Community, for instance has been mandated by these herdsmen to pay a ransom of two million naira as compensation for the alleged missing cows out of which N600, 000. 00 has been paid.
It is on the basis of the foregoing that we call the attention of the Federal Government, Enugu State Government, the Nigerian Army (especially 82Division of the Nigerian Army), Enugu State Police Command, the Directorate of State Security Services, and other security agencies in the country, especially in Enugu State, to the impending danger of massive attack by these Fulani herdsmen on some communities in Enugu State. It will be recalled that only last Sunday, Fulani herdsmen invaded a compound in Okpanku community in Aninri LG Area of Enugu State and inflicted heavy machete cuts on the security guard on duty, a development which the Police Command in Enugu State has confirmed.
Even though none of these allegations by Miyetti Allah leadership in Enugu have been substantiated, we are constrained to remark that this was the same flimsy reason given for the gruesome attack by the herdsmen in 2016 at Nimbo community in Enugu State. As was the case at that time, the government and security network were forewarned about the attack but nothing significant was done to avert it. It is on account of this that we are hereby putting both the Enugu State and Federal Governments and the entire security apparatus both in Enugu State and the country at large on high alert of the impending assault by these Fulani herdsmen on some communities in Enugu State.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Enugu wishes to warn that it would not tolerate anymore shedding of blood in Enugu State or any part of Igboland on account of Fulani herdsmen. Our position on grazing ranches is very clear. In truth, since 2015 nothing has happened in Nigeria that seems to attenuate our position on the rejection of grazing ranches in Igboland and we cannot abdicate our land for any such purpose. Perhaps it is important to state here that Enugu is the soul of Igboland and if these attacks eventually occur, Enugu State people and indeed Ndigbo would take it as a declaration of war by other means against the Igbo nation. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has severally called for the fiscal restructuring of Nigeria as the first step towards moving Nigeria forward. Our conviction on this process of true federalism anchored on fiscal restructuring, has, rather than diminish, been strengthened by events in the country, not in the least, the menace of Fulani herdsmen. While Ndigbo are committed to a united and peaceful Nigeria, we wish to state categorically here that we will not be the scapegoat for peace and unity in Nigeria. Nigeria cannot afford to learn geology the morning after the earthquake. The relevant authorities must work to abort this impending catastrophe, particularly the Enugu State Government and the Federal Government. A stitch in time saves nine.

Signed
Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia,  President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State