By Anayo Okoli, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Chinedu Adonu
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, accused two governors of the South-East of concluding arrangements to hand over some senatorial zones in their respective states to herdsmen.
It assured the people of South-East that in spite of the treacherous activities of some governors in Biafraland, it does not wish to abandon “the critical task of confronting terrorists in our forests and bushes in order to frustrate the deceptive governors.”
IPOB, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, alleged that the two governors’ actions were part of the clandestine Ruga implementation programme in the East.
According to IPOB, “it has come to the knowledge of the great family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that two PDP governors in the South-East have concluded arrangements to hand over our land in three senatorial zones to terror herdsmen as part of their clandestine RUGA implementation programme in the East.
“We have also discovered that one of the governors, along with some traditional rulers and president-general of some communities, also connived and handed over a land belonging to communities of his state to terrorists and their cattle.
“The said land has been in dispute for years between the two communities, but now the governor has forcefully taken these ancestral lands and handed them over to the same terror herdsmen responsible for hacking to death of dozens of indigenes in many parts of the state without any reprimand.
“The message South-East governors are sending out is that terrorists are welcomed to kill Biafrans at will and get rewarded with land for their settlement.
“Instead of apprehending and prosecuting these marauding murderers, the governor has instead, empowered them by giving them a Ruga settlement in his state, while publicly claiming he has not done so.
“This level of deception from South-East governors have placed the entire Biafraland in danger of wholesale herdsmen invasion.
“We, IPOB, cannot be dying and placing our lives in danger on a daily basis across Biafraland, fighting well-armed terrorists with our bare hands, only to have deceptive governors undermining our noble effort.
“Anybody related to these governors or other slaves in government houses in the East must warn them to desist from their suicidal undertaking to hand over our land to the Islamic caliphate.
“We are equally aware that other state governors and politicians in Biafraland are having series of secret meetings on how to allocate our sacred land of Biafra to terrorists for their Ruga settlement on the pretence of a renamed National Livestock Programme, NLP, of the deceptive federal government.
“We are calling on all relatives, stakeholders, supporters of South East governors and traditional rulers to warn these governors including those in other states, to desist from this evil act of ceding our ancestral lands to terrorists for Ruga settlement or National Livestock Programme in any part of Biafraland.
“We will not spare any person or persons implicated in the conspiracy to Islamise Biafraland through forced settlements.”
No S’East gov gave land for RUGA— Archbishop Chukwuma
Meanwhile, Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province (Anglican Communion) Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma has debunked news on social media that some governors of the South-East geo-political zone have secretly allocated lands to herders for RUGA settlement.
Archbishop Chukwuma made the clarification during his sermon at the 85th birthday/thanksgiving service for Dame Beatrice Ekwueme, wife of the late former Vice President of Nigeria, Chief Dr. Alex Ekwueme, which was attended by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, former governors Jim Nwobodo, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Sam Egwu, Peter Obi and Virgy Etiaba, the Ekwueme family, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, among other dignitaries.
The cleric disclosed that he has discussed with the governors of the South-East zone on the matter, adding that “even last night, I spoke with Governor David Umahi, Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum and most of the governors in South-South.”
He further disclosed that he is always in touch with his host, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and urged the people not to misinterpret or misunderstand his efforts at maintaining peace in the state.
“I am always in touch with my governor here. People should not misinterpret him. People should not misunderstand him. All that he is looking for is peace in Enugu State. He is not looking for anywhere to give anybody land. What he is saying is that nobody is looking for violence in Enugu State.
“Let me clear this; no governor in the South-East has agreed that there will be any land for RUGA settlement.”
We’re ready, MASSOB tells northern youth group
In a related development, groups have continued to attack the Northern youths group that issued 30 days ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the suspended controversial RUGA project, dismissing their call as a dream that could not be realised.
Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, blamed the emergence of RUGA issue on what it called “the hypocrisy of the APC-led Federal Government of President Muhamnadu Buhari.”
MASSOB, in a statement by its leader, Uchenna Madu, said Biafrans are not worried about the plan to implement the policy in Biafraland or any part of South-East,” insisting that they have “mapped out strategies to dismantle such implementation.”
MASSOB made it clear that they would not allow any Fulani herdsmen settlement in any part of the Igbo land and Biafra land in general”.
According to MASSOB “the policies of the administration of Buhari led federal government since its inception in 2015 which has been planned to favoured his Fulani kinsmen at the detriment of Nigerians and his insincere Nigerian unity quest has justified our agitations and other pro-Biafra groups for the Sovereign State of Biafra.
“MASSOB therefore, demands that President Buhari President Buhari disown the ultimatum of the Northern youths, arrest their leaders, and make them face the wrath of the law before Nigerians will take him seriously in the fight against insecurity.”
Also, the coalition of south-east youth leaders, COSEYL, in its own position made known by its leader Chief Goodluck Egwu Ibem, described the ultimatum as an insult on Nigerians and called for the immediate arrest of the leaders of the group.
They called on the Northern leaders to disown the people made the call and ensure that they were arrested to make Nigerians believe that the people were on their own and not acting with the support of the elders.
“It is unfortunate that since this ultimatum was issued the Presidents attack dogs who act as his media aides, have shamelessly and surprisingly kept sealed leaps on the acceptance or no acceptance of the ultimatum, confirming our indisputable position that the ultimatum was sponsored by the presidency, to give Nigerians and the world the
the wrong impression that some people are happy and ready to accept the Ruga settlement policy when in actual sense it is being forced down the throats of the states and people who are alleged to be accepting it.
Attack us and get reprisal, Igbo town unions dare Fulani agenda
Also reacting to the ultimatum, Igbo communities have challenged herdsmen to once again attack any part of its territory and see if they would leave to tell the story of what they would see as a reprisal.
The Igbo native communities also said that they view the 30-day ultimatum given to President Mohammadu Buhari by the coalition of Northern Group to implement the RUGA initiatives as an indirect ultimatum by another Islamic Terrorist organization in the making to the areas they want to Islamize.
The communities have however agreed that no part of Igbo land would be sold to any masquerading Fulani herdsman in the guise of ranching, colony or grazing of their cows.
The Igbo communities made the resolutions at the Association of South East Town Union, ASETU, meeting in Enugu, where the union also hosted Ala-Igbo Development Foundation, ADF, during the weekend.
ASETU National President, Chief Emeka Diwe said in a communiqué of the meeting that having observed the state of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly, in the South East, and having noted the commentaries of many regional social-cultural groups, that ASETU now believe that there is a serious, deliberate and systematic agenda to bloodily Islamise, over-run, occupy and take over some sections of the country, particularly the South East and Igbo land.
It, however, noted that it was only a tree that was told that it would be felled, yet it remained stationary until it was cut down. It, therefore, urged the Igbo offenders to take note of the story of and be wary of The Rattlesnake.
Diwe in the communiqué said “That we decry, oppose and vehemently reject any form of Islamisation and Fulanisation of any part of the South East region and indeed Igbo land, or any such move that would remind us of the 1967-1970 civil war.
“We call on our Fulani and Moslem brothers to respect our identity and descendancy as a people and to respect our territory as Igbo nation. We caution a foreclosure of any further attacks or plans of attack on us as this may attract reprisals.
“We caution every Igbo community to be mindful of any proposal to buy large portions of land in their domain. We hereby call on all Igbo Town Union Leaders to liaise with their traditional rulers to subject such proposals and offers to proper scrutiny as this would turn to gateways of surreptitiously entering into our communities to carry out nefarious activities.
“We call on all Igbo sons and daughters to be alert, vigilant and security conscious and to rise up in defence of themselves, their kiths and kins and the Igbo nation with whatever form and formula available in the event of any unwarranted attack, provided it is within the ambits of the Law.
“ASETU calls on legislators from both chambers of the National Assembly from South East to always meet and interact with their constituents and particularly their town unions on matters concerning their heritage as there is a rumoured plan to introduce bills to the National Assembly to amend the Land Use Act so as to disenfranchise the people of their lands.
“ASETU calls on President Mohammadu Buhari to outrightly cancel the RUGA policy. Mere suspension as announced is a pretentious half-hearted measure designed to douse the overwhelming national opposition and anticipated revolt. It is also a deceitful measure to buy time and to reintroduce the policy later after repackaging.”