By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Izu Umunna Cultural Association, an Igbo pressure group has warned the National Assembly to forget about getting any portion of its land as grazing reserve for herdsmen, noting that the ongoing deliberation on the matter was a grand design to use the instrument of constitutional amendment to carve out large parts of land in the Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria and hand over to the Fulani herdsmen.
In a press statement signed by Dr. Ugo Ihekuna and Chief Elvis Chukwu, President and Secretary of the group respectively, the group also condemned the attack on a helpless community in Enugu, noting that it was “dismayed by the level of brigandage and carnage being unleashed on the people of South East by Fulani herdsmen.
“The association is particularly worried by the apparent poor response of security agencies to these atrocities and the near taciturnity exhibited by the Federal Government.
“At the last count, no fewer than 200 innocent people have been mowed down by these rampaging marauders with equal number of houses destroyed and farmlands completely desolated.”
Frowning at the annihilation of innocent people by Fulani herdsmen, the group called on the Federal Government to immediately start the construction of ranches as opposed to grazing reserves so as to curb the menace posed by itinerant Fulani herdsmen. “We call on the National Assembly to stop forthwith the debate on the National Grazing Reserves Commission as it is a time-bomb waiting to explode.
“We also want the Federal Government to start immediate compensation to all those affected by the menace of Fulani herdsmen and bring the perpetrators to book.
“This must send a strong signal to the government and people of the South East that having devastated their lands through the activities of the Boko, which had created deserts in almost the entire length and breadth of North East, the next alternative is to turn to the South East where there is lush green vegetation for grazing.”
The group asked the people of the South East to stop the use of Hausa/Fulani as guards in their homes as it had been established that these ‘guards’ are often guides to these mercenaries when they want to strike.