The attack on some Ebonyi State communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen, has sparked off reaction by the National leadership of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) that on Tuesday, condemned it in strong terms.
OYC in a statement declared that it would no longer allow open grazing of cattle in any part of Igbo land.
The statement signed by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, its National President, Okwu Nnabuike, National secretary and Engr Obinna Adibe, National Publicity Secretary, accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of failing to protect the people of the zone.
They called on Igbo youths to rise and protect all the South-East communities from rampaging herdsmen.
The statement made available to the media read in part:
“Against the backdrop of recent happenings, the Ohanaeze Youth Wing, convened a national emergency security meeting, where it reviewed activities of the Fulani herdsmen, who wrecked havoc in Enyanwu Igwe village in Igbeagu community, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, killing four persons and destroying properties.
“Recall that herdsmen had invaded many Igbo communities/states in the past and they are being treated with kids glove by the Federal Government; consequently, they also recently invaded Enyanwu Igwe village on Monday, killing four persons, destroyed economic trees and other properties worth millions of naira and sent communities packing.
“We duly denounce this dastardly act that receives Federal Government’s protective coverage allowing the Fulani herdsmen moving lengths and breaths of Nigeria with firearms killing people at any slightest.
“We regret to say that Federal Government had adopted double standard in the handling of the Fulani herdsmen terrorism and Igbo’s non-violent youths agitating for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra. We say this because it is allowing the Fulanis to kill people opposed to having cows passing and grazing on their farmlands and kill communities protesting against such.
“For the Federal Government to turn around and treat the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, that has not fired a shot nor slapped anybody, as a terrorist group is too bad for President Muhammadu Buhari and whatever he has to offer.
“We, hereby issue a stern warning to the Federal government to curtail the nefarious activities of the fundamentalist Fulani 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 hereby use this medium to ban open cow grazing and rearing activities and any seen doing should be made to understood that where his economic rights stop, there begins that of another.
“In view of the foregoing, we, Ohanaeze Youths cannot stand akimbo watch our farmlands and communities destroyed anymore because of barbaric cow-rearing activities of the Fulanis in the nature’s 21st century.
“Hence 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 and or bearing arms but he is not a known licensed security person.
“We warn that nobody has a monopoly of violence and Igbo nation will surely defend itself. Enough is enough. Any Armed herdsmen sighted anywhere in the South-East will have himself to blame. Arise and defend Igbo land through well recognized vigilante groups.