From Nonye Udumiri, Aba
The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, (COSEYL) on Sunday warned Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi and his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to trade with caution on their dealings with armed Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement signed by Hon. Goodluck Egwu Ibem, COSEYL President General and Comrade Kanice Igwe, Secretary General, which came as reaction to the gruesome killings in the two states by Fulani herdsmen last month, the group called for caution.
COSEYL also warned the two governors to always trace the history of all those who welcomed armed Fulanis in the past, especially a former chief military leader, of the old Oyo Empire (Are Ona Kakanfo), Afonja of Ilorin, who paid with his life.
The group said it is now very clear to all that any group carrying cattle with arms are not herdsmen, but killers and land grabbers on a hidden mission to grab and overrun Igbo-land and convert it to Fulani territory.
COSEYL called on Governor Dave Umahi and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who are the Chief security officers of their states to move into action and arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
“Indeed life is too short to learn from our mistakes, its better we learn from the mistake of others.We call on Governor Umahi to learn from what happened to Afonja of Ilorin in 1817.
“Afonja received the Shehu Alimi also known as Salih Janta, a Fulani cleric with open arms in ilorin thinking he has got a good friend.
“Abdulsalam, the ambitious son of Shehu Alimi turned around to kill Afonja and declared himself the Emir of Ilorinorin in1824 and pledged allegiance to Sokoto Caliphate.”
COSEYL also frowned at the silence of the national security authorities on the Enugu and Ebonyi killings, describing it as deliberate and unfortunate.
“We also condemn the deliberate silence of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, the Chief Of Army Staff, and other Security Chiefs who have kept silence over the wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen in the South East.
“Up till now, even nothing meaningful have been done over the assassination attempt on the governor of Benue state, Governor Ortom. The whole scenario is a calculated plan to overrun the South.
“The Security Chiefs have never arrested any herdsmen for any killings but only go after armless protesters from the southern part of the country while allowing arm carrying Fulani herdsmen to have a free day killing people at will and working away with it.
“This country is owned by us all and nobody owns this country more than the other. The South East belongs to Ndigbo and we demand that the Fulani herdsmen leave our territories immediately.
“We call on Governor Dave Umahi and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to immediately correct their mistake of providing free settlements in the forest for terrorists parading as herdsmen in their states .
“Ndigbo wherever they live pay for their accommodations and stay there in peace. They don’t stay in the forest or bushes. It is only criminals and people of questionable character that stay in the forest that doesn’t belongs to them.
“Ndigbo have never gone to any state government to demand for free settlements neither have they attack the host communities or towns were they are doing business. We are peaceful and it should not be taken for weakness.”
COSEYL also said that it may not be a mere coincidence for Fulani militia to attack Ebonyi and Enugu states killing over 30 persons the same time President Buhari traveled out of the country without handing over power to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The group called on all the Youths in Igbo communities and villages to get ready to secure their villages and forests with their local vigilante so that their community will not be overran by Fulani herdsmen who now seem to have the backing of unseen forces.