ASABA – Confusion pervaded Asaba, Delta State on Sunday after residents discovered a threat letter giving Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, a 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing or risk the state capital being attacked.
The letter dated June 13, 2021 and titled “Fulani Jihadist Warning: An Open Message of two Paragraphs To Delta State” was said to have been posted in strategic locations in the state capital including the fence of the Living Faith Church aka Winners Chapel at Infant Jesus Road in Asaba.
It could be recalled that governors of the 17 southern states at its meeting in Asaba recently banned open grazing of cattle in the region but the ban was rejected by the Federal Government and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who claimed the decision of the governors violates the rights of herdsmen to free movement.
President Muhammadu Buhari also rejected the position of the governors and ordered for the restoration of the grazing routes across the country in an interview last Friday.
The unsigned letter, threatened that Fulani Jihadist fighters will attack Asaba and Governor Okowa’s Agbor Town if he fails to withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing in the state.
According to the letter: “this is to inform Delta state that the Fulani’s of Usman dan fodio leadership, shall do everything it can to uphold the legacy of our heritage of open grazing for we are nomadic people from origination and shall never negotiate the ownership of Nigeria and West Africa and Sub-Sahara.
“We hereby demand the governor of Delta state to immediately withdraw is early stand for the call to barn open grazing in 17 regions in not less than 72hours from the above date and also, withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors, as no occurrence we don’t have the first-hand information, even before the hosting of the South-South, South-West and South-South governors meeting in Asaba.
“Failure to adhere to this demand for being the host of the 17 governors, Delta state, most likely the city of Asaba and Agbor, shall encounter severe consequences than that of Bornu, Kebbi, Kastina, Kaduna, Enugu, Benue, Oyo and many more that will not respect the Fulani’s heritage, as we take responsibility for the detonate explosive uncovered in the state capital secretariat, which should serve as warning to the Delta state government for what is to come, should the governor fail to abide to our demand.
“We highly advice all Fulani’s and Northerners, including the security personnel to leave Delta state as soon as possible for the wind of our action is now present in the land, for failure of the governor to adhere to our call, this shall leave us with no choice,” the letter warned
When contacted, Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe confirmed to have seen the letter, saying the police are putting measures in place to avert any possible breakdown of law and order in the state capital and across the state.
According to him, “the author of the letter failed to sign and unmasked his or her identity. As far as I am concerned, it may be political. The painful part of it is that, they may have used indigenes to paste the purported letter across the state capital”.
On his part, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Delta State said state government has not received any such letter but if in any case they receive it, the government will react appropriately. (Daily Independent)