November 30, 2022

Insecurity: IPoB, Ohanaeze, Benue leaders tackle FG, Agric minister over violent herders

•Defense shameless, evil,unethical —IPOB •It’s unconscionable for Minister —Ohanaeze •Declare Myetti Allah  terrorist organisation —Benue tribal leaders 

By Anayo Okoli, Peter Duru & Chimaobi Nwaiwu

NNEWI—THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB; apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; and Benue tribal leaders, yesterday, lashed out at the federal government of Nigeria and the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, for their alleged defense of the violent activities of killer herdsmen who are mostly Fulani.

IPoB described   as shameless, evil, and unethical  the government’s action of not seeing anything bad in the violent activities of herders in Nigeria. IPoB said that such action by the federal  government is the reason the violent activities of the herders persist in the country.

Reacting to the government statement also, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said it was very unfortunate that a highly placed federal government official spoke in this unconscionable  manner, which was a way of encouraging the destructive herders to continue with the bad act.

In a related development, leaders of the three main tribes in Benue State on the platform of the Mzough U Tiv, MUT, Ochetoha K’Idoma, OKI, and Omi Ny’Igede, have urged the federal government to tag Miyetti Allah groups as terrorist organizations and ensure the arrest of their leaders who have been making provocative statements about the Benue killings.

A statement by IPoB’s image maker, Emma Powerful said Nigerians know  who are their real enemies.

IPoB’s statement read: “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to express our shock and disbelief over the statement from the Federal Government of Nigeria and its Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, where they shamelessly, unethically and unnecessarily, put up a weak defense for the evil being committed by Fulani herdsmen with their destructive activities in Nigeria.

“IPOB is shocked that the Nigerian Federal Government and its Minister of Agriculture are so shameless to come out publicly to defend the evil and ugly activities of the herdsmen who have always claimed responsibility for their destructive activities and threatened to do more in South East and Middle Belt.

“For IPOB, we see Alhaji Abubakar’s defense for the Fulani herdsmen, where he said that it is doubtful that herders wilfully destroy farms as the reason why the Fulani herdsmen cannot stop killing people, destroying their farms and sacking them from their  ancestral homes.

“How can they stop when the people who should call them to order and condemn their violent activities do not see anything wrong in what they are doing? They will, therefore, naturally feel emboldened to do more destruction in the country.

Alhaji Abubakar’s statement is also a justification of the IPOB statement that the federal government and Nigeria Army are responsible for the killings, kidnappings, and sacking of people from their communities in Nigeria and South East, particularly in Enugu State where their attacks have been consistent.

“We wonder how a Minister in Nigeria who is sincere and not biased, will say while responding to questions at the presentation of his ministry’s scorecard, that the rising cost of basic foodstuffs in the country is because of inflation and COVID -19 while exonerating terrorists and Fulani herdsmen who are kidnapping, killing people in their farms and destroying their farms with their cows and cattle and not allowing them access to their farms.

“We also wonder if Alhaji Abubakar is actually in Nigeria, or is he trying to be mischievous because he is a Fulani  man and therefore, cannot afford to blame the Fulani herdsmen for their violent criminal activities across Nigeria, South East and Middle Belt in particular.

“This is why we keep telling South East politicians that they are cowards, shameless, and not patriotic to their ethnic group. If they are in Alhaji Abubakar’s shoes, they will be the first to name Fulani herdsmen as being responsible for the killings going on in South East, but Abubakar being an ” intelligent and patriotic” Fulani man must defend his people even with his integrity and last drop of blood.

“Now that the Minister of Agriculture cannot be honest enough to condemn the violent activities of his brothers and instead, is describing their  violent activities as an age-long problem of farmers/herders conflict, and suggesting the introduction of the National Livestock Development Programme and the proposal to have ranching and grazing reserves across Nigeria, we are waiting for them to come to Biafra land. They will receive the shock of their lives.

“IPOB has been vindicated with all the things that are happening in the  country and they will continue to expose themselves under the present Fulani cabal ruling Nigeria with all kinds of impunity.”

It’s unconscionable for Minister to say what he said —Ohanaeze

According to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, it was positions like the one held by the minister that encouraged the rampaging herders to continue to destroy people’s farms and crops.

Reacting through the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said: ” Willful implies repeat the same thing over time. It is intentional. It is unconscionable for the minister, a highly placed government official to say that what Fulani herdsmen are doing is not deliberate or willful. It is unconscionable for him to say so. And this is part of the problem. Instead of seeking solutions, putting efforts, working hard to ensure that such things do not continue, he is encouraging them by running away from the facts.So, it is unfortunate that a highly placed government official should make such a statement.

“For a long time, Fulani herdsmen and farmers clashes have been on the scene and that had been a big problem in Nigeria and the minister is making such a remark. So it is rather unfortunate, unconscionable and least expected of his office.

“I must also say that the crises we have in the Middle Belt and other parts of the South are as a result of herders/ farmers clashes and instead of seeking solutions, the minister is encouraging them.There couldn’t have been a more deliberate, more wilful, more intentional approach than what the herders are doing”.

Declare Myetti Allah groups terrorist organizations —Benue tribal leaders

The leaders in a text signed by the Chairman and President General of MUT, worldwide, Iorbee Ihagh; the President General of OKI, AVM Tony Adokwu (retd); and the President-General of ONI, Ben Okpa first noted that the recent military action to clear the forests in neighbouring Nasarawa State of bandits who ceaselessly invaded Benue communities deserved commendation.

The leader said, “It is expected that the move would no doubt bring to an end, or at least reduce the activities of bandits, thereby restoring normalcy to some troubled spots in Nasarawa, Benue, and other states of the country.

“However, we feel saddened that despite this laudable operation that the federal government commenced in Nasarawa State, through the military, some groups like Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, in Nasarawa State are not happy with it.

“We state categorically, that anyone that is against the move by the military to flush out the terrorists from Nasarawa is a suspect and should be treated as a terrorist because they may be working in collaboration with the bandits.It is in this vein that we call on the federal government to declare MACBAN and other herders’ groups like MACBAN as terrorists.”

“Suffice it to state that our people are still in shock that even though some herders’ groups in the country have owned up to some of the killings and also made inflammatory statements over the killings in Benue, none of them have been arrested, nor invited for questioning.

“It is one of the reasons why we are reiterating our call on the Federal Government to also arrest the leadership of Myetti Allah Kautal Hore over their utterances on the killings in Benue and other parts of the country.”