By Uche Mbah
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode, has expressed disgust over the reaction of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to the position taken by South east leaders over their offer of help to form Vigilante groups in the South east.
Using his twitter handle, @realFFK, Fani-Kayode said that Miyetti Allah is threatening to take Igboland by force.
“I read with disgust the response of Miyetti Allah to the rejection of their demand to have a militia in the east. To say u will take Igboland by force because they won’t allow you to arm ur Fulani herdsmen is dangerous and reckless. You are baying for blood and begging for war!”, he had twitted.
It will be recalled that at a Security summit for the South east, Miyetti Allah had requested that South east governors should allow them to form vigilante groups in the South east. In the same vein, they announced their endorsement of Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi state and chairman eastern governors’ forum, as their preferred Presidential candidate for 2023.
Umahi has a history of co-operation with the world recognized terrorist group, and is looked at with suspicion among hard-line Igbo iredentist.
The request was greeted with wide condemnation from various groups, with Ohaneze Ndi igbo being at the front-line.
“Ohanaeze vehemently opposes any attempt by Miyetti Allah to establish any form of vigilante group in Igboland”, said the President-General, Nnia Nwodo. “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 AK-47 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,”
South eastern governors also rejected the move.
A socio-cultural group, Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, a coalition of Igbo professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora, called it “reckless and provocative”.
“There is absolutely no threat in any form to the Fulani people living in the South-East nor to their business interests that should warrant the establishment of a Fulani defence corp”, they said.
Intersociety, or International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, insists they will not join issues with Miyetti Allah. “We are holding the South East Governors, mostly that of Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States responsible for hobnobbing with the terrorists group”,The group said.
The Human Rights Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation, HURIJE, blames the Federal Government for disarming local vigilante outfits in the South East and allowing the Fulani herdsmen to carry AK 47 about freely.
“Government should disarm Fulani herdsmen now because arming them in the South East in the name of establishment of vigilante will give them license to penetrate South East and kill more people, since the hands of our security personnel are tied”.