Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, President, ADF
Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), has condemned the excesses of Fulani herdsmen in the Southeast zone, saying failure of governance in Igboland has encouraged them to take over 400 villages in the region, as well as engage in killings, kidnappings, and raping of women and girls.
This is even as the Foundation congratulated Governor Nyesom Nwike, of Rivers state, for preventing and frustrating the attempted abduction of the former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nunieh, by men of the Nigeria Police force..
A statement by Chief Abia Onyike, chairman, media and publicity bureau (ADF), made available to SummitNews, on Monday noted that failure of governance in the region has resulted to lawlessness, disobedience of laws by citizens and groups, without appropriate sanctions from government and security agencies.
According to the statement, “this lack-lustre attitude by elected officials of government, public administrators and security agencies has emboldened the Fulani herdsmen, who have taken over 400 villages in the South-East with regular reports of constant incidents of killings, kidnappings, raping of women and girls and other criminal activities.
“It is in the light of this development that ADF congratulates the Chairman of Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta state, Mr. Chuks Oseme, who recently mobilised his council authorities to set up a vigilante group to flush out criminally minded herdsmen who were involved in killings, rape and kidnapping in the forests within the area.
“The council chairman had stated that herdsmen and other strangers in their vicinity must obey the laws of the land and respect the rules or be prepared to be flushed out of the area.
“Such a courageous and unequivocal statement from an elected government official condemning the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen in Delta state is a very good example of what is required of government officials and the law enforcement agencies in order to remind the herdsmen and miscreants that they are not above the law.
“State governors, federal lawmakers and security agencies should speak out in defence of the right to life of the citizenry and the supremacy of the rule of law so as to re-assure Nigerians that we are not descending into the rule of the jungle.
“The ADF wishes to appeal once more to the Southeast governors and legislators in the five Southeastern states to pass the bill on Anti-Open Grazing which ADF had presented to them.
“The passage of the bill into law would legally compel the owners of cattle to set up ranches for their herds. It will eradicate the roaming of cattle in the cities and farms, and help to secure the agro-economy of Alaigbo.”
In another development, ADF commended Gov. Wike for aborting the attempt by police men to abduct the immediate past Managing Director of NNDC,, Dr. Nunieh from her Port Harcourt residence, Rivers state, last week.
“The ADF considers the attempted abduction of Dr. Nunieh as a brazen act of lawlessness, impunity and illegality, which should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) should fish out those behind the attempted abduction and ensure that they face appropriate disciplinary measures.
“Law enforcement agencies should not allow themselves to be compromised and used to terrorize innocent citizens.
“It was a shameless display of political brigandage for a section of the Nigeria Police Force to be deployed to abduct and prevent a prominent figure from appearing to testify before the National Assembly Committee investigating alleged corruption cases in the NDDC.
“What it shows is that Nigeria’s security agencies lack internal command discipline and harbours the tendency to operate as warlords,” the statement said.