Obi of Onitsha Igwe Alfred Achebe

…As gunmen attack herdsmen who shot factory worker, kill 8

…FG plotting military attack on S-East with allegation of ESN attacking security agents —IPOB

…Any herder with AK-47 has 48 hours to vacate our forests or be treated like ‘bush meat’  — Ohanaeze youths

…Say any tribe plotting to attack Igbo’ll have to prepare well

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Ikechukwu Odu & Steve Oko

Worried By the precarious security  situation in the South East, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, has told the people of the region to step up their security consciousness, to avoid being caught unawares by killer herdsmen trooping into the region. According to him, the South East is no longer safe.

There have been reports of incessant attacks in different parts of the region by unknown gunmen and alleged bandits.

This came as eight persons were, yesterday, allegedly feared killed, while properties worth millions of naira were burnt down when unknown gunmen invaded Adani in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State to rescue a young man allegedly shot by suspected   herdsmen.

Meanwhile,  the youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has given 48-hour ultimatum to every herder with AK-47 in  any  part of South East to leave or be treated like “bush meat”.

Speaking yesterday, the Onitsha monarch alleged that terrorist herders from outside the country had invaded Nigeria, causing insecurity in many parts of the country, including South East.

He said forests in the region had been taken over by the herders who, according to him, kill, maim and rape women.

Igwe Achebe  said: “Mercenary herdsmen are moving into the South East forests, kidnapping and killing our people.”

He urged  South East governors to speak with one voice and act without further delay to save the lives of their people.

The monarch, who spoke while receiving six security  motorcycles donated by Rai and Salim, R&S, Loto Limited, to the newly formed Onitsha Ado Community Vigilante Unit, acknowledged that the whole country was facing security challenge, especially in the South East, which needed to be addressed urgently.

Igwe Achebe, who also received three patrol vehicles donated by Onitsha indigenes, from the Transition Chairman of Onitsha North Local Government Area, Mr Patrick Agha Mba, also asked the federal government and the security agencies to restrategize and step up their security apparatus to match the sophistication being introduced by  violent criminals into the country.

“The federal government and security agencies should restrategize in the act of providing security  for Nigerians. Security agents can only secure the country if they step up their intelligence  network. They should avoid anything that will make people to look for alternative ways of securing themselves. South East  people have had enough invasion of their forests by foreigners.”

8 killed in Enugu community

The attack at Adani, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State which started at Presco Junction, was accompanied by sporadic gun shots and burning of houses and other valuable properties.

It was gathered that a young man from Iggah, also in the council area, who is yet-to-be identified, was working at Adarice Factory in Adani, when he was allegely shot by suspected herdsmen over a misunderstanding.

However, when sympathizers attempted to rush him to the hospital for treatment, it was learnt that the suspected shooter and his cohorts blocked their way,  prompting the escalation of the violence.

It was further learnt that in the midst of the attempt to resuscitate the young man with bullet wound, some young men on motorcycles stormed the scene and started shooting at those stopping the factory worker from accessing medical attention, resulting in the casualties.

Residents who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that hunters and even some local vigilantes had  encountered some unfamiliar faces suspected to be personnel of Eastern Security Network, ESN, in the forests around the council area who told them that they were not after any law-abiding resident in the area.

It was equally gathered that after the attack, the gunmen who spotted black outfit gathered at a market close  to Adarice in Adani from where they vanished into the thin air.

Reacting to the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, said they were on a fact-finding mission at the scene of the incident.

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Spokesman of the command, Daniel Ndukwe, who accompanied the commissioner on the mission, confirmed the incident but promised to provide more details which he didn’t do at press time.

FG  plotting military attack on S’East with allegation of ESN attacking security agents —IPOB

Also yesterday, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, raised the alarm that the federal government was  looking for another justification to launch a fresh  military operation in the South East and South South in order to kill more innocent and unarmed Biafrans, using the Nigeria Navy.

The group said this government intended to do by linking  the Eastern Security Network, ESN, with the killing of   securitymen and seizure of their weapons.

IPOB said it was, however, not surprised that the federal government would easily point accusing fingers at IPOB and ESN, saying it had always been its antics.

The Biafra agitating group asked the Nigerian Navy to channel its attack on criminals who killed their ratings and carted away their weapons, instead of accusing and planning to attack innocent ESN operatives.

IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, ,”Stop linking ESN with unknown gunmen  attacking security agents”, alleged that the federal government was not happy that ESN flushed  out herdsmen in the South East.

IPOB statement read: “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has been drawn to the unfounded allegation by the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, that the personnel of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, are responsible for the series of attacks on security agents in the South East and the South South in recent times.

“We also take exceptions to insinuations and some biased media reports linking ESN and IPOB with the purported attacks. We are, however, not surprised that the Nigerian government will easily point accusing fingers at us.

“We know their antics. They are only looking for another justification to launch a fresh military operation in the South East and South South to kill more  innocent and unarmed Biafrans. The Naval Chief who is too weak to mobilise his troops and confront Boko Haram and Fulani bandits that are daily slaughtering both security operatives and civilians in the North and different parts of the country, kidnapping for ransom and raping women in their farms, is now threatening to launch military operation against ESN and IPOB.

“The only offence the  ESN has committed  is  flushing out terrorists out of our lands. We are  asking when has resisting terrorists in the forests translated to attacking security operatives?

“We have severally stated that ESN is not after security agents but terrorists rampaging our communities. ESN operates in the bushes and not in the cities. Anyone looking for them should go to the forests.

“Neither ESN nor IPOB is involved in the purported attacks against security agents. This is another fabricated lie by the Nigeria military to blackmail the security outfit and have another excuse to attack innocent people.”

Herders with AK-47 has 48 hours to vacate our forests  —Ohanaeze youths

The ultimatum by Ohanaeze youths is coming on the heels of the revelation that over 332 camps across South East are  occupied by herders with AK-47 rifles.

National President of Ohanaeze Youths Council, Igboayaka. O Igboayaka, who said the revelation had corroborated an earlier similar report by a civil society organisation, said Igbo youths would not sit  idly to watch terrorists encircle and invade Igbo land.

He therefore, warned “all  herdsmen with AK47 rifles to immediately  vacate their hidden locations in Igbo land within 48 hours or risk being treated like bush animals wherever they  are  sighted with weapons.”

OYC accused President Muhamnadu Buhari and the security agencies of maintaining criminal silence over the disturbing revelation, saying they should be held accountable for any security breach or genocidal attack in Igbo land.

According to OYC, Ndigbo will be left with no option than to resort to self-defense which may eventually lead to fragmentation of the country.

Igboayaka in a press statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Chukwuemeka Chimerue, said any tribe plotting to attack Ndigbo  now  might need to prepare well.

The statement read: “This revelation is in line with a recent  research made by International Society For Civil Liberties & The Rule Of Law(Inter-society), one of the leading civil society groups in Nigeria, wherein, they published that 433 locations in Igbo land are domiciled by these  dreaded   herdsmen waiting to attack the  entire old Eastern region.

He cautioned the President and his kinsmen to have a rethink “on their covert Fulanization agenda and ethnic cleansing of other nationalities in Nigeria.

“The 1967-1970 genocide against Ndigbo where all tribes in the West, Mid-West and Hausa land fought against Ndigbo would not repeat again.

“Herders should get ready to contend with the forces of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, if they go ahead to embark on this impending attack against Ndigbo,” Igboayaka stated.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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