•It’s a horrific demand and affront on Ndigbo—ABC Nwosu
•Igbo should defend themselves —Mbazulike Amaechi
By Anayo Okoli, Dennis Agbo, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Chima Nwaiwu, Chinonso Alozie, Olayinka Ajayi, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Christian Odu & Chinedu Adonu
NDIGBO of all classes have continued to reject the proposal by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, to set up Fulani vigilante groups in Igboland, describing the suggestion as an insult to the Igbo race.
They described it as a plot to conquer the South East geopolitical zone by herdsmen.
Those, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard on the matter include First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi; one-time Health Minister, Prof A.B.C Nwosu; former President of Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, Chief Pius Anaekwe; Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and some pro-Igbo groups.
Leading the pack of those, who expressed displeasure, was Amaechi, who totally rejected the idea, describing it as an attempt to establish a colony for islamisation.
Igbo should defend themselves —Mbazulike Amaechi
The nonagenarian said the development confirmed the perception that the people of the region are still being seen as a conquered people.
He said: “The attempt of trying to set up a vigilante group in South East is to secure their purported conquered colony in Nigeria with their own police. If not how do you explain an ethnic group coming from millions of miles away to set up a vigilante group in the territory of another ethnic group?
“ For a particular part of the country to say that they are coming to the South East to set up a vigilante group, it means they are regarding that place as their conquered colony.
“However, I am disappointed that the governors of Igboland are too myopic to the extent that they cannot see what these people they have been meeting with want to do. They could not even react nor speak against it when the request was made.
“All I will say is that the Igbo should defend themselves against anybody coming to colonise them.
“The governors, members of the National Assembly and politicians of Igbo extraction at the federal level are behaving badly. It is a shame that they can’t speak out.
Igbo politicians are shameless
“These politicians from the South East are shameless. This cannot happen in other parts of Nigeria. The members of the National Assembly are the worst of them all.
“I hope the new set of Igbo lawmakers, who have been inaugurated as members of the National Assembly can make a difference. We hope that this new set would be better than the people before them.
“They disarmed the vigilante groups and the hunters in the South East because they regard the South East as their defeated colony like the British once regarded Nigeria as a colony under them.
“They are sending their people as police to guard their colony. I am telling the people of South East that if the governors, senators and other politicians cannot say or do anything to defend them, they should defend themselves.’’
Proposal is an insult — ABC Nwosu
On his part, Nwosu said:”The proposal by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association to set up Fulani Youth Vigilante Forces in the five Eastern States at a security meeting in Enugu attended by the South-East governors is not only a gratuitous insult to the Igbo nation, it is also a major affront to the entire Ndigbo as a people.
“I shuddered over the very tame reaction of South East governors and wondered what the reaction of Northern governors could have been if millions of Igbo traders living in the North and who have been regular victims of massacres in various northern riots, made a similar proposal in Kaduna. I am also baffled by the muteness of Igbo organisations worldwide on this outrage.
“I salute the courage and steadfastness of the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, who again, stood firm for Ndigbo and promptly spoke against it. He simply reminds me of Horatio Cocules of 6th century Rome.
“ I can assure him that Ndigbo are fully behind him and I urge him to embark on immediate consultations with the traditional structures in Igboland so that an appropriate and measured response is developed.
Only Igbo youths can set up vigilante groups
“Consequently, only Igbo youths can set up vigilante groups in Igboland. They should work in conjunction with the traditional institution, and security agencies. Let Fulani youths go and set up vigilante youths in Zamfara, Katsina and their home states and leave the South-East alone. Simple.
“ I salute the Yoruba nation where the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, and Aare Gani Adams have risen in defence of Yorubaland, which made a delegation from the Inspector General of Police to dialogue with them.
“Why did the Miyetti Allah not propose any such vigilante for the South West states? Ndigbo should always remember the admonishment of Chinua Achebe that it is only the deaf insect that is eaten by the noisy bird. It is high time Ndigbo listened to that wise advice.”
It’s plot to fulanise Nigeria—PANDEF
Reacting to the statement by MACBAN, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, led by South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, lampooned the association, saying the call has further buttressed the stance of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who had earlier raised the alarm on alleged plans to ‘’fulanise’’ Nigeria.
A statement by its National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, described the call by MACBAN as another reckless display of impunity.
The statement reads: “The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, is painfully assailed by the strange call, boldly made, on Thursday, June 20, 2019, by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, for the establishment of Fulani Youth Vigilante body in the South East, to complement those in their host communities and other constituted security apparatus in the geopolitical zone.
“That PANDEF considers this call as merely intriguing, is, to put it mildly. Did any of the state security agencies namely the Police, Department of State Security, DSS, the Military, and others cry out for additional help to perform their constitutional duties of protecting life and property?
“PANDEF stands solidly with its contemporaries, the Ohaneze Ndigbo, and Afenifere in their similar response.
“Seeing that such a call has no constitutional, it can then be seen as buttressing the expressed statements by Elder statesmen like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Theophilus Danjuma, retd, that these creepy moves of MACBAN underscore an evil scheme, by the Fulanis to occupy entire Nigeria.’’
Herdsmen want to conquer, dominate S/East—ADF
The Ala-Igbo Development Foundation, ADF, said the request by MACBAN was strange and suspicious, not being planned in good fate.
Spokesman of ADF, Mr. Abia Onyike in a statement, yesterday, called on Igbo patriots, pressure groups, South-East governors and South -East Coalition of Town Unions to reject the plan in its totality.
He said: “We call on the South-East governors to refrain from buying into the deceptive schemes of MACBAN, as their strategy has been the seizure and occupation of ancestral lands of host communities with the aim of dominating the affected communities.
“It is our considered opinion that the attempt to establish vigilante groups by the herdsmen is tailored to further arm them.’’
It’s an agenda being pursued—-Anekwe, ex-OMATA President
A former President of Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, Chief Pius Anaekwe, said: “The request was not just idiotic but insulting. They indirectly told the South East governors, that they can’t secure their areas. It is an agenda by MACBAN and their masters. They made the proposal after disarming of our vigilante groups and hunters. Crime is happening in Anambra State which used to be the most peaceful state. We are not fools. What would be the duty of the Fulani Vigilante in South East when it is set up?
“MACBAN is telling us that plans have been perfected to invade the South East. We are waiting for them.
“They have tried several times without success to invade South East. Now they want to use the treacherous request to set up a vigilante group to penetrate and attack the people of South East, and our governors under the leadership of Chief David Umahi of Ebonyi State are granting them an audience.
Blame South East governors
“It is unfortunate that the state lawmakers in the South East are mere rubber stamps and stooges of the South East governors. All the governors in the zone are due for impeachment.
“We must blame the South East governors for constantly granting the MACBAN leaders audience before they made the idiotic request, how many Northern governors have granted audience to any Igbo group? MACBAN has penetrated the South West states through their governors, who belong to the same party with its patrons and the zone is boiling now, to the extent that the Ooni of Ife has come out to warn that Yorubaland cannot keep quiet in the face of such attacks on their people.’’
It’s suspicious—Town unions
Similarly, the Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, described the offer by Fulani herdsmen “as a joke taken too far”.
The National President of the group, Chief Emeka Diwe described the statement made by MACBAN as an insult to Ndigbo.
He said: “It is insulting for the herdsmen who were behind the killing and raping of women in the zone to offer to protect the South East.
It is an insult to Ndigbo for the herdsmen, who are being troubled by banditry and Boko Haram to offer to protect Ndigbo. Their offer is suspicious.’’
Also, pan-Igbo group, Nzuko Umunna called on MACBAN to immediately withdraw its proposal to set up a Fulani vigilante group in South East zone.
In a statement by its Coordinator and Secretary, Messrs Ngozi and Paschal Mbanefo, the group said: “The proposal is not only the height of insult but a clear vote of no-confidence on the nation’s security agencies.”