EBONYI – A group under the aegies of Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, Monday, alleged that over 400 villages in the South East Geopolitical zone of the Country had been taken over by Fulani Herdsmen.
According to the group, the criminal activities of these Herdsmen within the Region remain traceable to bad governance in Igboland.
The Frontline Pan Igbo Socio-cultural Organization further explained that the activities of these Herdsmen were occasioned with regular reports of constant incidents of killings, kidnappings, raping of women and girls and among others.
In a statement by Chief Abia Onyike,Chairman, Media and Publicity Bureau, ADF, the group called on State Governors, Federal Law-makers and Security Agencies to speak out in defence of the right to life of the citizenry and the supremacy of the rule of law in the Country.
The statement read: “The Alaigbo Development Foundation(ADF), after a careful review of the worsening security scenerio in the South East states of Nigeria, hereby wishes to state as follows:
“That the excesses of the FULANI Herdsmen in the zone can be traceable to the failure of governance in Igboland, which manifests in lawlessness, disobedience of laws by citizens and groups, without appropriate sanctions from government and security agencies.
“This lack-lustre attitude by elected officials of government, public administrators and security agencies has emboldened the Fulani Herdsmen, who have taken over 400 villages in the South-East with regular reports of constant incidents of killings, kidnappings, raping of women and girls and other criminal activities.
“It is in the light of this development that ADF congratulates the Chairman of Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Chuks Oseme who recently mobilised his Council authorities to set up a vigilante group to flush out criminally minded Herdsmen who were involved in killings, rape and kidnapping in the forests within the area.
“The Council Chairman had stated that Herdsmen and other strangers in their vicinity must obey the laws of the land and respect the rules or be prepared to be flushed out of the area.
“Such a courageous and unequivocal statement from an elected government official condemning the atrocities of FULANI Herdsmen in Delta State is a very good example of what is required of government officials and the law enforcement agencies in order to remind the Herdsmen and miscreants that they are not above the law.
“State Governors, Federal Law-makers and Security Agencies should speak out in defence of the right to life of the citizenry and the supremacy of the rule of law, so as to re-assure Nigerians that we are not descending into the rule of the jungle.
“The ADF wishes to appeal once more to the South-East Governors and Legislators in the five South-Eastern states to pass the bill on Anti-Open Grazing which ADF had presented to them.
“The passage of the bill into law would legally compell the owners of cattles to set up ranches for their herds. It will eradicate the roaming of cattles in the cities and farms and help to secure the agro-economy of Alaigbo.”