By Kurtis Adigba Last week, I wrote “ if you…
The Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) have described as courageous and an act of exemplary leadership worthy of commendation the decision by the South East governors to reject the proposed establishment of cattle ranches within the region by the Federal Government.
In a statement issued in Toronto, Canada by the President, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro, through the Public Relations Officer, Ahaoma Kanu, the socio-cultural and pressure group said “the unanimous action and consolidated decision taken by the leaders of Ndigbo to stand shoulder to shoulder in one voice to reject the unconstitutional, insensitive and chronically ill-intended desire of the Federal Government to establish cattle ranches for the sole purpose of cattle grazing for the Fulani herdsmen is a stitch in time that will save thousands of lives from imminent deaths, catastrophic pain and bloodshed which has become the trademark of the bandits the government is giving such underserved preference.”
The statement was in reaction to announcement by governors of the South-eastern states earlier in the week that no state in the region will donate any land for the federal government’s proposed establishment of cattle ranches in the zone.
The decision was announced after a meeting held by governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), David Umahib (Ebonyi), with Willie Obiano (Anambra) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) represented by their deputy governors in Enugu.
Governor Rochas Okorocha (Imo) was absent and was not represented.
“ICCA/Umunna is declaring our unflinching support for this decision which is coming at a time it is becoming obvious that the Presidency is not handling this burning issue the way it ought to be handled. We have seen from the body language, action and utterances from the Presidency that the Federal Government is not bothered about the thousands of lives that have been gruesomely lost to this group of militants which is known to be the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the Global Terrorism Index,” Okoro said.
“It is absurd and unimaginable that the Federal Government will be thinking of acquiring thousands of acres of land from people in all states and regions within Nigeria to build ranches for the exclusive use of Fulani herdsmen who have continuously wreaked havoc, killed and maimed thousands of men, women and children as well as burnt down properties and places of worship at will without any of them being brought to book. It is troubling that a group that is well known to the security agencies are still walking about freely and allegedly threatening more attacks with no law and order enforced or any investigation carried out.”
The ICCA/Umunna stated that they stand with their leaders in rejecting ranching in any shape or form and want to make it clear that the decision of their leaders is the collective decision of Ndigbo on this issue while admonishing the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria to respect the decision.
“We would want to take this opportunity to advise the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria who described as shocking and lacking discretion the rejection of ranches by our governors to respect the decision taken by Ndigbo. It is true when we hear them say that Igbos are the major bonding elements among the people of Nigeria but we also will like them to know that nobody would want to entertain a people who slaughter and kill the way the Fulani herdsmen have exhibited within the last three years.”
“Instead of Miyetti Allah to be expressing shock and hope that ranching issues be considered dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria and the generality of its citizens, we would ask them how would they want Nigerians to agree to co-exist with a group that has spilled over 36,000 litres of blood within three years?”
“With the invasion of Nimbo village in Enugu, Abbi, Uzo-Uwani, Ndiagu, Attakwu communities in Enugu State and Abala community in Obingwa as well as the experience our people at Umuguma and Irete communities in Imo State have gone through coupled with the never ending attacks in Benue and plateau States, Ndigbo will not want to host any cattle ranches for anybody as our people need our farmlands for agriculture,” Okoro said.
ICCA/Umunna also advised the South-East governors to go a step further to consolidate on security in the states to protect the lives and properties of Ndigbo within the region by establishing vigilante groups to effect community policing within and around the South East States.