•Senators accuse Buhari of silence, call for summit
Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia with agency report
Reactions yesterday continued to trail the killings of 40 people in Enugu State by Fulani’s herdsmen as the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide yesterday blamed the governors of the South-east geopolitical zone for allowing the Fulani herdsmen to have a field day in committing atrocities against the people, which has now culminated in the massacre of over 40 people in Enugu State.
IPOB in a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, said the governors had failed in their duties as chief security officers and had instead elected to play politics with the lives of the people.
The pro-Biafra group said that it was appalling that even after seeing the looming dangers posed by the herdsmen, the governors did not see the need “to summon emergency meeting to deliberate on the impending dangers and the condition of their people.”
It insisted that it was justified “in pointing accusing fingers at the governors and politicians in the Biafra land over the killing of our people,” adding that “they were used by their counterparts in the north against their people.
“We are totally disappointed with the governors and politicians of this land for not knowing the meaning of chief security officer of the state and their limit,” IPOB said.
The group specifically lambasted the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi over his “weak response” to the menace of Fulani herdsmen in his state “by indulging in paying compensation and shedding crocodile tears” each time the marauders struck.
It noted with concern that Governor Ugwuanyi did not make any strong statement when 76 farmers of Ugwuleshi community were dumped in prison by soldiers following clash with Fulani herdsmen and instead gave the community N8 million compensation.
Mocking the Enugu governor, IPOB said: “Now it is the killing of the Uzo Uwani people you (Ugwuanyi) declared two days fasting and prayers and dished out N5million for your dead brothers in Uzo Uwani of Enugu state. Now it is in Umuchigbo Abakpa Nike you are going to declare one week fasting and prayers and dish out another N10million to them for the burial, what a shame Ugwuanyi?”
Referring to the perceived anti-Christian agenda of Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, IPOB said the South-east governors have been docile, doing nothing to promote their own faith and protect their people from “the strategy to Islamise the Biafrans and Christians.”
Meanwhile members of the South-east caucus in the Senate have called for an emergency summit of South-east and South-south political and traditional leaders as a platform to proffer coordinated response to the menace of marauding herdsmen.
They also accused President Buhari of negligence and refusal to give even a “cursory routine condemnation” after attacks allegedly by Fulani herdsmen.
This was contained in a statement signed by Eyinnaya Abaribe, a Senator representing Abia State.
The call for summit came in the wake of a deadly attack on Monday on Nimbo, a community in Enugu State, blamed on herdsmen.
Buhari on Wednesday condemned the attack, and asked security agencies to respond to the spreading menace. The president has been widely criticised for not responding quickly to previous attacks.
Rising from its meeting in Abuja, the South-east senators warned of imminent danger and possible attack on the unity of Nigeria should the federal government fail to “urgently address the Enugu massacres by the marauding Fulani herdsmen.”
According to their statement, the senators not only condemned the attack, “which left over 50 persons dead and scores driven out of their homes”, they also called for a “summit of South-east and South-south state governors, members of national and state Houses of Assembly, socio-cultural associations, traditional rulers and major stakeholders immediately.”
The emergency summit, according to the lawmakers, is to review and evaluate what they described as a “very scary situation” and proffer a coordinated response that would ensure the security of lives and properties of their people.
The attitude of Buhari towards the attacks allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen necessitated the call for emergency summit, the caucus said.
“The summit has become urgently necessary against the background of the ominous silence and apparent indifference of the presidency over the killings in Enugu, some areas in Delta State and so many other zones in recent time even when there was obvious intelligence reports.
“We can no longer sit and watch while our people are daily slaughtered like fowls without even attracting the cursory routine condemnation by the presidency.
“We are even more appalled that despite the alarm raised by the Uzo Uwani communities of an imminent attack by the Fulani herdsmen and the associated vague assurances by the Chairman of Fulani community in Enugu that such attack will not happen, yet the security agencies failed to prevent the attack that happened two days after the alarm.
“It is disheartening what is happening and somebody has to take responsibility. That somebody has to be the institution of the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the caucus said.