By Magnus Eze, Enugu
ENUGU – The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) has warned the coalition of northern groups, which issued a 30-day ultimatum to southerners resident in the North over the suspended Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) policy of the Federal Government, not to take their silence for granted.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Enugu at weekend, which was attended by its national executive committee, state executive committees, zonal and local government area coordinators of the body, the body took critical decisions about happenings in the country as they relate to Igbo.
ASETU, among other resolutions, agreed to engage all the local hunters’ unions in Igboland, to ensure the safety and security of the communities.
In doing this, they urged all communities to reinvigorate their vigilance groups and other traditional security outfits.
A communiqué signed by ASETU National President, Chief Emeka Diwe and National Secretary, Gideon Adikwuru, stated that having observed the state of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly in the South East, they believed there was a serious, deliberate and systematic agenda to bloodily Islamise, overrun, occupy and take over some sections of the country, particularly the South East and Igboland.
ASETU alleged that part of the tactics was buying of large portions of our land to create colonies (Zango) for Fulani herders, using Igbo people as surrogates.
The group said investigations had revealed the occupation of many parts of Igbo forests, alleging that up to 139 points were already identified, where suspected burying of arms and ammunition had taken place.
“We call on our Fulani brothers to respect our identity and descent as a people and to respect our territory as Igbo nation. We caution a foreclosure of any further attacks or plans of attack on us as this may attract reprisals.
“We caution every Igbo community to be mindful of any proposal to buy large portions of land in their domain. We hereby call on all Igbo town union leaders to liaise with their traditional rulers to subject such proposals and offers to proper scrutiny as this would turn to gateways of entering into our communities to carry out nefarious activities.
“We also resolved to pursue a conscious and well-coordinated provision of home security in all parts of Igboland, anchored on the original concept of town unionism in partnership with all traditional institutions.“We call on Igbo sons and daughters to be at alert, vigilant and security conscious and to rise up in defence of themselves, their kith and kin and the Igbo nation with whatever form and formula available in the event of any unwarranted attack provided it is within the ambits of the law.
“We encourage each and every community in Igboland to revive, enforce and maintain its local vigilance and youth organisations and partner with their various hunters’ unions and all local traditional institutions to take over the maintenance and provision of security in their domains.
“They should henceforth, organise and group themselves to embark on regular bush combing exercises, so as to identify and forestall any impending security threats.” (Daily Sun)