From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has sternly warned the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, “not to try the patience of Igbo youths.”
The warning is coming on the heels of the recent ‘inflammatory ‘ media comment credited to MACBAN National President, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi, where he allegedly claimed that “Nigeria belongs to the Fulani and that they own all the land in the country.”
Irked by the comment which has been greeted by national outrage and public condemnation, Ohanaeze youths said they were ready to defend Igbo land against any invaders at all cost.
The Igbo youths in a press release by its National Deputy President, Dr.Kingsley Dozie, described the comment by the MACBAN boss as bogus, provocative and one capable of “setting Nigeria ablaze.”
Abdullahi, had in the media comment, among other things, claimed that “the Fulani don’t need permission to pitch a permanent tent anywhere in Nigeria.”
He had also further claimed that Nigeria was founded by the Fulani; hence they would continue to rule Nigeria forever.
Ohanaeze youths cautioned MACBAN not to bite more than they could chew, saying “nobody has the monopoly of violence.
The statement read in part : “We were very disappointed and annoyed with the dissident inflammatory statement of the National President of Miyetti Allah breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Bello Abdullahi.
“But most provocative was his claim of their proposed vigilante group they would deploy all-over Nigeria without taking permission from anyone since Nigeria is their own.
“Igbo Youths want to make it categorically clear that any attempt by any outsider(s) to assert themselves forcefully, or illegally, would be met with resolute opposition.
“1978 Land Use Act was crystal clear that any land usage that doesn’t come with the express permission from a State Governor, is illegal.
“Their claim of having free rights to any part of the country is very misleading, except they’re planning to force a total breakdown of Law and Order in Nigeria.
“All Lands within our territory, belongs exclusively to us, and our Governors are the legitimate caretakers. This threat and rhetoric from the Miyetti Allah’s boss, is grossly inappropriate, and any attempt to effect any of those things he said, anywhere in Igbo Land, would be vigorously resisted by us.
“We are always ready to protect our territories from undue incursions in case they don’t know.
“He should be more preoccupied with the solution to the recurring clashes between his Fulani herdsmen and farmers. They shouldn’t be making headlines with a volcanic type of rhetoric and rubbish threats.”
Ohanaeze youths called on the Federal Government to quickly caution the leadership of Miyetti Allah group to order, saying “their excesses have reached the level of warmongering, and no region has the monopoly of violence.”