The Igbo-Intelligentsia Forum, a professional and advocacy Igbo group, has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari expressing strong concerns over the recent statement of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) that it discovered a mass grave in Abia State and that it has identified five of the bodies as Fulani.
The DSS also went ahead to say that the Fulani bodies were corpses of those purportedly murdered by members of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), a claim which the Forum described as reckless and shameful propaganda.
The Forum in the letter signed by Hon Joe Ikunna (Coordinator) and Dr Katch Ononuju (Secretary of Publicity Sub-Committee) went ahead to debunk such claims saying “that the five bodies found in a shallow grave in a bush in Uturu town were actually kidnap victims and that the unfortunate incident has no ethnic coloration whatsoever”. It came to this conclusion after an on-the-spot assessment carried out by the Abia and Imo States governments.
The Forum also went ahead to declare that “We are alarmed by these allegations as we do not condone violence of any sort by or against any person or group of persons. Our history as Igbo shows that we have lived peacefully with people of different ethnicity for generations”. It further stated that “The DSS news statement is tendentious. It is un-nerving for those serving in our security services to turn around and stoke a conflagration with capacity to cause ethnic massacre of a segment of the country namely, the Igbo nation”.
It wondered why the DSS is so pre-occupied with the Igbo when no action has been taken on arms bearing Fulani herdsmen who are widely known to visit mayhem on their host communities without provocation.
Consequently, the Forum called on president Muhammadu Buhari to set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to investigate the unfortunate statement by the DSS, the spread of Fulani herdsmen clashes with agrarian communities and demanded that the National Security Adviser and the DG of DSS be sanctioned accordingly while a public apology be tendered to the Igbo for the heist statement targeted at them and work towards the immediate disarming of all militia groups in the country including the Fulani herdsmen.
It concluded its letter by advising the president not to allow the business interests of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), a trade association with membership in the civil service, politics and other Fulani investors clash against and undermine national security & corporate well-being of Nigeria.