A group of Igbos resident in the United States of America under the aegis of Igbo Union has come heavily on the governors of the South East states over their poor handling of the security situation in the region.
The group which said their mission is to promote the unity, socio-economic progress, and security of Ndi Igbo in Igboland and in the diaspora asked the reasons behind the influx of armed Fulani-Jihadist militants in Igbo land.
In a letter signed by the coordinator, Ikechukwu Orji, Secretary-General, Matthew Ohanele, and director, diplomacy and outreach, Dr. Ray Chimezie and dated 30th May, 2020, the group urged the governors to reject the community policing template of the Inspector General of police.
The group also expressed their willingness to “mobilize Igbo Diasaporans to work with our people back home to ensure that proper security personnels are recruited and adequately equipped.” They urged the state Houses of Assembly to do their work following the same process and template the South West Zone used in setting up their Zonal Security Services- Amotekun.
Part of the statement reads;
“The Igbo Union is concerned about your insensitivity to the threat and terrorization of Ndi Igbo in the hands of Fulani herdsmen roaming our villages with their cattle and AK-47 rifles. For over four years, the presence of herdsmen in our villages and farms have sparked conflicts, killings, property damages and fear in our people. There are lots of unanswered questions about your response to the influx of
Fulani militia into Igboland, which skyrocketed during the lockdown.
“It is a fact of history that the Fulanis believe in conquering other ethnicities and
inhabiting their land. Clearly, the Fulanis do not believe in “live & let live” as the Igbos.
They are sworn enemies of Ndi Igbo and want to take over Igboland as the inheritance of their forefathers. They want to force us to become moslems. They believe in total and complete domination and enslavement of others as captives or subjects. Their leaders have referred to Igboland as conquered territory, and they are determined to take it as they have done in many parts of Benue, Plateau, and other non-Islamic states in Northern Nigeria.
“Popular opinions and anecdotal sources seem to suggest that the governors in the
South East are compromised and working in the interest of the ruling Islamic cabals rather than their states. Evidence that seem to support this allegation include the over three hundred and sixty (360) Fulani settlements in various forests in Igboland, your failure to respond to Fulani threats in Igbo villages, lopsided compensation of Fulanis for cattle loss without doing same to affected Igbo people or villages, endorsing Fulani land grab in Igboland by failing to enact Anti-grazing Law as was done in states like Benue.
“This claim is further supported by your failure as governors to expeditiously set up a security network for the South Eastern states just as the Yorubas formed the Western Nigeria Security Network otherwise known as Amotekun. We want to make it clear that we are disappointed that Igbos elected as governors of their people will support a clandestine agenda by a minority Fulani tribe to enslave Igboland and be part of a surreptitious plan to destroy Christianity in Igboland and desecrate Omenala.
“Ndi Igbo and others living with us are asking for the reasons behind the influx of armed Fulani-Jihadist militants in our land. Why have our governors remained silent and unconcerned in the presence of clearly impending threats of genocide, terrorism, and mayhem against the indegenous people of Igbo?
“However, we are mindful of the fact that you met some weeks ago and issued a
communique which, amongst others, requested the various State Houses of Assembly to enact laws setting up security networks in each of the five states that would offer regional protection to the land and the people. However, we are surprised and shocked to learn about the recent meeting with the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Muhammed Adamu, where you discussed your previous communiqué. At this later meeting, you agreed on the template for the implementation of community policing in the South East zone.
“The Igbo Union wants to make it clear to Igbo governors that we object to the use of the template structured by the Inspector General of Police. To develop the South East security network using the template of the person or persons masterminding terrorism and planning genocide in Igboland is preposterous. It fails short of what Ndi Igbo stand for or represent.
We urge that you reject that proposal, and charge our various state Houses of Assembly do their work following the same process and template the South West Zone used in setting up their Zonal Security Services, Amotekun.
“Be that as it may, our interest is with respect to the security of lives and properties in every inch of Igboland. We eagerly await for the various Houses of Assembly to pass the enabling laws as requested by your forum. Once the laws are passed, this organization will mobilize Igbo Diasaporans to work with our people back home to ensure that proper
security personnels are recruited and adequately equipped.
“Our desire to pursue this action is to protect the sacrosanctity of Igbo land desecrated by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the Land Use Act (Decree) of 1978. That Law stripped Igbo people of the legal ownership of their land, and vested all urban land within a state in the state governor, and all non-urban land in the local governments. Igbos are predial, with deep spiritual attachment to our land even in death.
“History will not be kind to you if you do not act quickly to save our people and ancestral land. Our ancestors fought and saved this homeland for us, making it possible for us (Igbos) to be born and grow up thereon. It is therefore imperative that you do everything you can to prevent this impending genocidal Jihad before the blood of our people – including your families and relatives start flowing. The safety of our people is paramount.
“As governors, be assured that you have us, the Igbo Union, as worthy allies. Our affiliated Igbo organizations in the United States and all over the world are willing to work with you and contribute all we can towards the safety and security of our ancestral land.
“While we are willing and eager to work with you, we will also hold you accountable if, due 0to your lackadaisical attitude to this urgent issue, our people perish under your watch or any inch of our ancestral land is lost to the invaders. Indeed, Ndi Igbo at home and in the diaspora will hold you responsible for any property damage, bodily injury, or death caused by any act of the Fulanis due to your inaction.
“Regardless of your political affiliation, now is the time to come together and fight a
common enemy for the survival of our people and our homeland. This is the time to work together with trusted Igbo leaders to secure our ancestral land. Igboland security apparatus should have been set up long before the Yorubas set up their Amotekun considering our history as genocide survivors, and the imminent security threat to our people and our homeland. We urge you to act quickly by pressing the houses to pass the security laws, and setting up security apparatus to safeguard our people and protect our homeland.
“Finally, we are optimistic that you, as worthy sons of our land, motivated by the needs of our people, will engage relentlessly to improve their dividends of democracy not just in the areas of education, health, socio-economic activities, but also in the security of the
lives and properties of legitimate and law abiding residents of your state and every inch of Igboland. We reiterate that our affiliated Igbo organizations in the United States and all over the world are willing to work with you and contribute all we can to ensure ironclad security of our ancestral land.”
The group also copied governors of Delta and Rivers states, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and archbishops of Roman Catholic and Anglican Communion.