“We call on the Nigerian Government to unequivocally deploy all its military might in crushing this vermin called Boko Haram.”
A socio-cultural group in Lagos State, Ndigbo Lagos, on Tuesday warned against any terrorist attacks in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
The group, which described itself as the umbrella body of all Igbo organizations in Lagos State, said any invasion of the region by the Boko Haram and armed herdsmen portends dangerous consequences.
“We call on the Nigerian Government to unequivocally deploy all its military might in crushing this vermin called Boko Haram before it consumes the nation,” the group said in a statement by its Director of Communications and Strategy, Chuma Igwe.
The group, which noted with “utmost horror” recent reports of arrest of about 486 suspected Boko Haram members in Abia State by soldiers, said it was even more condemnable that a notorious and wanted kingpin of the dreaded group was identified among the suspects.
The group said the arrest was not a mere coincidence, as it occurred a few days after bombs were discovered at a branch of the Winners Chapel Church, Owerri, where over 10,000 worshippers were attending Sunday services.
While commending the army for the courage to intercept the suspects, and the worshippers for their vigilance in identifying the bombs, the group said there are indications that these recent events are part of a “subtle but deliberate push by the terrorists into Igbo land.”
The “push”, it claimed, also includes the use of Fulani herdsmen to penetrate and infiltrate the south east.
It recalled recent complaints by the President General of Ezeagu General Assembly, Obiorah Ozobu, on behalf of the people of Ezeagu Local Government of Enugu State, about the infiltration of their villages by AK47 wielding ‘Fulani Herdsmen’, who shot and killed a farmer.
“Let’s be clear. Cattle rearing are private commercial ventures and not a public infrastructure,” he pointed out. “This is the 21st Century and nomadic cattle grazing are outdated.
“In saner climes, livestock farmers acquire land, cultivate vegetation or buy feed, sink boreholes and pen their animals. And this affords them better security, veterinary services and market accessibility.”
The group alleged that the utterances of northern leaders in the past stoked the amber of terrorism in the country.
“We call on the Sultan, Emirs and political leaders of the North with conscience to completely demonstrate their relevance by leading this war against terrorism from the front without recourse to sophistry, if together we must avert the calamity that is now enveloping Nigeria- a country we have all laboured to build in the past hundred years.
“Ndigbo are peace-loving and industrious people blessed by God. We are ever willing and ready to promote the peace and prosperity of Nigeria. But we are concerned about the possible reaction of our Youth who have endured loss of lives and property with the attendant psychological degradations over the years.
“Though many of them have been forced to relocate back home as the only secure place they can live in peace, with the recent threat of invasion by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, now, they have nowhere to run to anymore,” the group said.