Ohanaeze, others reject proposal for Fulani vigilante in Southeast

Angry reactions have trailed the demand by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) for the establishment of Fulani vigilante group in the Southeast as stakeholders in the zone have vowed to resist the move.

National President of MACBAN, Mohammadu Kirowa, had at a security summit in Enugu requested the establishment of Fulani Youth Vigilante in the zone to work with security agencies. He noted that herdsmen in the region had been having difficulties doing their business following clashes with farmers.

But vowing to resist the demand yesterday, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, pro-Biafran organisations, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), insisted that the suggestion was part of the plot to forcefully Islamise the country.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in a statement said that the people of the Southeast would not agree to anything that could further compound the security of the zone.

He said: “These are people who have ravaged our farms, raped our women and slaughtered their husbands. As at today they technically enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution.  They freely display AK47 rifles not permitted to be used by civilians. Extending this measure to them will turn them into an army of occupation and invite unavoidable confrontations with our youths. We will resist such a policy with every might available to us.”

Leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and his MASSOB counterpart, Uchenna Madu, in separate statements they personally signed and made available to The Guardian in Enugu, condemned the demand, stressing that the group was carrying their luck too far.

Kanu said: “It is extremely shocking and shameful that at a time when Fulani cattle herders have turned to terrorists and are ravaging the North, Middle Belt and Yorubaland, Southeast governors allowed Miyetti Allah to get away with such criminal demand on our soil.

“Miyetti Allah, a mere cattle trading association, is now openly threatening to conquer Igboland with the help of Igbo governors. It defies logic that Southeast governors would care to give audience in the open in Igboland to an organisation that has been rated the fourth deadliest terrorist organisation in the world. Did the Southeast governors stop to consider that Biafran traders in the far North, even though law abiding, can never be given the audience and reverence that these Southeast governors have so shamefully extended to Miyetti Allah?”

Kanu stated that IPOB’s activities were proscribed in the country because it attempted to establish a security arm known as Biafra Security Services, wondering why the governors of the zone could consent to the request.