Re-Anti-grazing law and the Security of Igbo Land.

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Your Excellencies,  The Executive Governors of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo & Rivers States

Re-Anti-grazing law and the Security of Igbo Land.

Your Excellencies:

Greeting from your people in the Diaspora. We write in the hope that you are doing your best in the service of Ndi-Igbo by whose mandate you superintend over our affairs. Our prayers are always with you.

We follow events in Nigeria, especially our homeland, Igboland. We are in constant touch with our people back home in Nigeria and in addition, we have access to the plethora of information from the mainstream and social media. We feel deeply worried about the information we receive particularly with respect to the persistent incursion of the Fulani Herdsmen into Igbo heartland. We followed the influx of the Hausa/Fulani youth into our homeland. The sudden movement of so many people described as almajiris under the covers of COVID-19 was not only inauspicious but portend imminent and grave danger. The motive behind this trafficking of people filled everyone at home and in the diaspora with genuine apprehension. We equally took note of the efforts taken by some of your Excellencies to checkmate the influx and monitor those who sneaked in. Predictably, the security issues which the Executive Governors in Igboland must deal with spiralled out of proportion. 

Naturally, the influx swelled the number of these hostile migrants into Igboland, increasing the number of their cells in our land. Many of them chose to hide and build tents in the forest and staying away from the purview of the normal settlement of people. They had more hands for kidnapping, grazing their cattle in farmlands and other nefarious activities. Worse still is the raping of our women! They are not only gangraping our women but recording it on video and putting them on the internet for us to see. How much evil can they be? It is even more heartrending when we know them as people that would not allow anyone messes with their women.

More disturbing is the allegation that some Governors appear to have been compromised to the point of giving portions of our land to the herdsmen. We wish to regard such information as mere rumours that are unfounded.  However, Ndi-Igbo both at home and in the Diaspora have held individual and joint meetings the resolutions of which we most respectfully convey to you below.

We the Igbo in the Diaspora from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and the Rivers States hereby state that you should not, under any condition lease or sell any portion of our lands to the Fulani pastoralists/herdsmen. You should not allow the so-called ecological devastation or the deforestation in the northern States where the Fulanis reside force you to yield or fall prey to the manipulative game of open grazing as a way of life of the Fulani herdsmen. By this mandate, does it make us a xenophobic people? By no means! We are quite aware of who they are as people. The evil they do live with them. The trail of blood, massacres, internecine wars, killing fields that follow in their wake make many to be wary of ceding an inch of land to them.

Southern Kaduna welcomed them many years ago but today, they regret that decision. Their homeland has been turned to a killing field. Night after night of clandestine attacks has left the indigenous landowners as refugees and internally displaced persons in different camps. Of course, we are also aware of what happened in Benue where hundreds were massacred. Jos and the entire Plateau State have the same bitter experience with a people who are bent on colonizing others in this era. It is obvious that the Fulani suffer from a superiority complex, making them want to colonize, subjugate, and rule over others with impunity. Thus, they have the temerity to tell landowners: your land or your blood. 

On the contrary, they are people who ensure that anyone who lived with them in northern Nigeria behaves and conducts himself in only the way acceptable to them. We are aware of too many instances of how they massacred and pillaged our people for the slightest offence to their sensibilities. Yet, they come to our land to behave and conduct themselves with impunity, without let or hindrance.

In this time and age, men deploy science and technology to solve the challenges that nature throw at them. Geospatial analysis of extreme weather conditions of northern Nigeria had been in the public domain since 1945. With low precipitation causing aridity, the need to build multiples of dams to enhance irrigation has been stated long ago. Indeed, Libya as a country was in worse condition but Moammar Ghaddafi used afforestation program to green the desert. It is an option available to the Fulani, but they would not exercise that option. Rather, they are determined to follow through with their avowal to have no rest until the Koran is dipped in the Atlantic and ensure their suzerainty.

Traditionally, the Fulani pastoralists/herdsmen keep their cows in one place and grow grass to feed them.  Open grazing is against our culture and against the law of nations.  No one has the right to move with herds and graze without restriction and tell you they have done that for generations. That is not true. You must have noticed that their demographic expansion is creating a multiplicity of social and economic pressures in all sectors of our States.  Their colonial agenda of Islamization and Fulanization of the Igboland has become obvious based on the recent rapes, killings, and destructions of our farmland.  They aim at taking over Igboland and making our land the home for all the Fulani across West Africa.  Until recently, we are aware that only about 6 million out of the entire 15-20 million Fulani people can call Nigeria their home. With the deployment of the Fulanization and Islamization agenda and with the free visa declared barely a year ago, there is now an unprecedented influx of the Fulani into Nigeria with the South and mostly Ala-Igbo as their ultimate destination.

Your Excellencies, we know you are the Chief Security officers of the States and the Chief custodians of the lands you govern.  You are first and foremost true indigenes and citizens of the States you govern.  You, your families, relatives, and ours are owners of the inheritance of lands our forefathers bequeathed to us all. As you are aware, our ancestral lands belong to the dead, the living and the unborn. You will not allow such precious inheritance to be taken over by force by another tribe while you are in charge.  You must not allow such to happen during your term in office.  We must not allow such mayhem to occur in our lifetime. As such, we the Igbos in the Diaspora are calling on you to please use all the authority within your office to institute complete anti-grazing laws across Igboland. Ranching as a business is the modern way of livestock production. We challenge the proponents of grazing bill and forceful occupation to show us anywhere in the world that cattle rearing is not an owner-driven business 

As you know, history will be unkind to any Governor who is not firm in the defence of the territorial integrity of Igboland. It is also easy to guess what the reaction of Ndi-Igbo will be to such a Governor whether in or out of office. We recognize the intense pressure brought to bear on you in this regard. Of course, we know they present the skewed argument that our Igbo people live in the north and therefore they are entitled to live in eastern Nigeria. However, anyone of our people who live in their midst abides by their laws and never went to the north with intent to orchestrate violence or levy war.

(We are glad that you’re taking a similar step taken by our South-Western colleagues who created the security outfit called “Amotekun”.  We would encourage and support your initiative to establish a Regional Security Architecture for the entire South East and by extension, the entire Alaigbo.  We know the power and effectiveness of Community Policing that is made up of the indigenes of the community. Any Community Policing that is ceded to the control of the Federal Government makes you and our people slaves and puppets of the Federal Government. We would avail you all the support you need to see this initiative become successful.  Such a step is an indication that you as the Chief security officers of the Igboland are not waiting for another genocide to be unleashed on us before we say, “enough is enough?” You are saying with us behind you, we must not wait until it is too late before we act. We must be pro-active).

Once again, we in the Diaspora are prepared to assist you in any way to ensure the complete protection of our people. No task could be more important to our people than their security. We anxiously wait to see/hear your strategic plans. For the protection of our people, our lands, and our property.

We remain yours fellow Igbo citizens

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this article is solely the responsibility of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The image is taken from the internet and assumed to be in the public domain. If this breaches the copyrighted material, kindly note that the break of the copyright is not intentional and non-commercial. The copyrighted material in question will be removed upon request and presentation of proof in that case, please contact me via the following email: nzeikay@gmail.com; enquiry@nzeikayblog.com

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