…accuses FG of protecting killer-herdsmen
We’ll retaliate if drastic action is not taken against them—Ohanaeze youths
By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—OHANAEZE Youth Council, OYC, yesterday condemned last week’s attack on Enyanwu Igwe village in Igbeagu community, Izzi council of Ebonyi State by herdsmen, where four persons were killed, warning that Igbo youths may be forced to retaliate if the Federal Government does not take drastic action to stop the destructive activities of the herdsmen.
OYC accused the Federal Government of treating the marauding herdsmen with “kids’ gloves”, and warned that unless the herdsmen are tamed, it would “now be fire for fire,” adding that “enough is enough.”
Rising from what it called a national emergency security meeting in Enugu, OYC called on the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerians and tame the herdsmen to avoid a major crisis in the nation.
In a communiqué signed by its National President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the National Secretary, Okwu Nnabuike and the Publicity Secretary, Engr. Obinna Adibe, OYC recalled that “herdsmen had invaded many Igbo communities in the past and they were treated with kids’ gloves by the Federal Government” before last week’s invasion of Enyanwu Igwe village where four persons were killed and economic trees and other properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
“We duly denounce this dastard acts that (allegedly) receive Federal Government’s protective coverage by allowing the herdsmen moving the lengths and breaths of Nigeria with firearms and killing people at any slightest thing.
“We cannot toil in our farms to feed ourselves only to have herdsmen invade the farmlands, grazing on our crops and killing us for raising a voice against their archaic cow-rearing method that is blind to others’ economic good.
“We regret to say that the Federal Government had adopted double standard in the handling of the herdsmen terrorism as against the non-violent Igbo youths agitating for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra, by allowing the herdsmen to kill people opposed to having cows passing and grazing on their farmlands; sack and wipe out communities protesting against such.”
“Yet, the Federal Government declared the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that had not fired a shot nor slapped anybody, a terrorist group, while the killer herdsmen are left out.
“We hereby issue a stern warning to the Federal Government to curtail the nefarious activities of the fundamentalist herdsmen and disarm them rather than giving them protective coverage while they destroy lives and farmlands or we engage them fire for fire in all parts of Igboland.
“We also use this medium to ban open cow grazing in Igboland and rearing activities and any herdsman seen doing so should be made to understand that where his economic rights stop, there begins that of another.
“Ohanaeze youths cannot stand akimbo anymore and watch our farmlands and communities destroyed because of cow-rearing activities of barbaric herdsmen in this 21st century.
“We hereby tell Igbo youths to form rings to guide and protect their communities and farmlands and deal decisively with anybody destroying their farmlands through cow grazing.
“Enough is enough. Any armed herdsman sighted in any farmland in the South East will have himself to blame. Arise and defend Igboland through well recognised vigilante groups”, the communiqué said.