ONITSHA (SundiataPost) – Human rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), says there are still villages and communities not captured in its list of 350 Igbo villages and communities being occupied by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen and Shuwa Arabs.
In a statement made available to SundiataPost on Sunday, the group said “there are still some if not several Igbo communities, villages and other locations including ‘camps’ missing from our compiled list of ‘not less than 350’ released on Wednesday, 27th May 2020.
“Though we forensically identified 318 ‘communities, villages and other locations’, we also added ’32 dark figures’ so as to proportionally take care of those not included or ‘missing communities, villages and other locations’”. https://sundiatapost.com/jihadist-fulani-herdsmen-and-shuwa-arabs-now-occupy-350-igbo-communities-and-villages-special-report/
The statement continued: “Further, by ‘invasion’ and malicious ‘occupation’, they legally and criminologically mean any Igbo Community or Village or Location jointly invaded by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their Shuwa Arab brothers or singly invaded by the former for purpose or with intent to occupy same permanently or temporarily; or being raided constantly or subjected to periodic or constant attacks by the Jihadists from within or nearby community, village or location.
“Therefore, we boldly wish to submit that all the Igbo communities mentioned in the work are under ‘active or passive’ Jihadist Herdsmen occupation. The research work is also ‘lawyerly’ and criminological-the world’s best combination in matters of securitisation research or investigation.
“If Mmiata-Anam Community in Anambra West LGA of Anambra State, for instance, was attacked last year and six killed and the Jihadists temporarily relocated to neighbouring areas, ‘in legal and criminological research’, the Community is inclusive in the list of those under Jihadist Herdsmen occupation; likewise another facing periodic or constant raiding of its farmlands or bushes from a Jihadist Fulani camp in a nearby community, or Village, or Location.
“It is also criminal or malicious occupation when a group of violent including armed citizens; with track records of bloodshed and religious radicalism forcefully and illegitimately enter and occupy permanently or temporarily a farmland or bush or forest belonging not to them; and done outside the consent of the owners. These include threatening the community or its leaders with fears and violence or maliciously inducing them with money or material things so as to secure or gain access. This is more when Nigeria is not among the world’s top ten producers of cows and none of them uses ‘wandering cattle grazing’ methods including nomadic pastoralism.
“As a matter of confession, we have never received the number of calls, questions, suggestions and commendations over our advocacy activities since our formation in 2008. It is also worth revealing that the cost of all this (research work) was not more than N200, 000 and it was freely published in the media. All contributions and assistance towards same were voluntary or free of charge or from ‘in-kind’ supports. We are deeply elated by the positive impact the work has made and still making on the people of Igbo Nation ‘home and abroad’.
“Therefore, following the widest publicity, reading, sharing and analyses the research work have received around the world, we make bold to say that the core aim of the research work is widely achieved. The research work has now gone beyond ‘which community or village or location has been included’; to ‘communities or villages or locations not included’.
“Several communal natives have called us from different parts of Igbo Land, saying: ‘their communities were omitted’. There are callers who complained of the omission of their communities or villages or locations in Isiukwuato LGA of Abia State, Idemmili South LGA of Anambra State, Afikpo LGA of Ebonyi State and Okigwe and Orlu LGAs of Imo State, etc. In Okposi Community, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, we were told that ‘their affected villages and locations or camps were not mentioned in the research report’.
“Some natives of other communities have specifically called us and mentioned the omission of their communities and pleaded for their inclusion. They included Communities of Ohofia-Agba in Isielu LGA of Ebonyi State, Umuomaku in Orumba South LGA of Anambra State, Agba-Umana in Ezeagu LGA of Enugu State, Lekwesi in Umunneochi LGA of Abia State, Obeagu in Isielu LGA of Ebonyi State, Okobo Plantation in Arochukwu, Arochukwu LGA of Abia State, Ojoto in Idemmili South LGA of Anambra State and Nara-Unataeze (almost all its villages are affected) and Ugboka in Nkanu East LGA of Enugu State.
“Pathetically, one of the messages we received from an ordained native of Amagunze Community in Nkanu East LGA of Enugu State has this to say ‘they (Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen) took away our farmlands since 2015. The whole villages of Onicha-Agu and Umunevo in our Community of Amagunze used to farm in the area and since then, we have been buying everything (foodstuff/agricultural produce) from the market. They destroyed all our farmlands and crops then and have since occupied the area now bigger than the two villages’.
“We hereby passionately appeal to the natives of other Igbo communities who have found names of their communities missing from the list to feel free to send theirs to us for capturing, so as to be accommodated in our ongoing updates. In sending such names, non natives of the affected communities and their villages or locations are excluded from doing so. The names of such excluded communities must include the Local Government Areas and States where they are located and can be sent or forwarded to: firstname.lastname@example.org and +2348174090052 (WhatsApp).”