Enugu civil disturbances: Ugwuanyi promises to get to root of matter


Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, yesterday, rose from an emergency security council meeting with all heads of security agencies in the state and reiterated his commitment to unravel the causes of the civil disturbances of August 23 as well as put further machinery in motion to forestall future re-occurrence.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting at Government House, Enugu, Ugwuanyi expressed sadness over the loss of lives during the clash.

“As the chief security officer, I am at all times committed to doing all within my powers to ensure the security of lives and property in Enugu State.”

He added: “The events of August 23 which culminated in the loss of lives of members of Nigerian security agencies and residents of Enugu State as well as recent reports of attacks on Railway Police Station, Ogui on August 28 and Unity Police Station, Abakpa on August 30, where weapons were reported to have been carted away, have been matters of great concern to me.”

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The governor, therefore, asked those in custody of weapons snatched from security agents to return them to the agencies or the nearest traditional ruler who will return same to the appropriate security agency.

While appealing for calm and understanding of all concerned “as we work together to sustain the long existing and cherished peace in Enugu State”, the governor said the state security council has approved the immediate joint patrol by all security agencies and a meeting with traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders to hold at the Government House, Enugu, tomorrow.

In the wake of the civil disturbances, the governor had summoned an emergency security council meeting.

However, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) have warned the Miyetti Allah Hore Kautal against coming into Igboland.

This followed the recent launch of a vigilante group across the country by the northern group.

MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, said any attempt to unleash the Miyetti Allah outfit in the region will be viewed as total declaration of war on the people of the South East and would be vehemently resisted.

Madu said MASSOB was not against Fulani herders setting up their own security outfit but urged the group to restrict its operation to northern states.

“As nobody in Nigeria is a Nigerian, the minority Fulani tribe can float and operate their security services within the northern states they are attached to. You can never operate your security vigilante service in our land. Any attempt to force your Fulani vigilante service in Igbo land will be viewed as declaration of war.”

On its part, ASETU wondered why an ethnic group will be allowed to arm themselves and enter the territories of another in the guise of vigilante. It claimed that it was nothing but a Jihadist movement with the objective of invading and taking over people’s land.

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National President of ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe and its National Secretary, Gideon Adikwuru, in a joint statement, alleged that Fulani herdsmen had committed several unspeakable atrocities in Igboland, noting that the plan to allow them have vigilante group in the zone was to legitimise their evil actions and shield them from prosecution.

“We see in this whole debacle an effort to shield the rampaging killer herdsmen from criminal liability and to legitimise the unconscionable killings of our people. By giving the Fulani herdsmen the impression that the blood of our people could be spilled in vain, and that a cover could be lent to those who serially murder our vulnerable and defenceless men and women in the rural areas, the Muhammadu Buhari-led Government is misleading the Fulani people.

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“We, therefore, once again call the attention of the United Nations, ECOWAS, Amnesty International and the entire international community to this new dimension to the age-long and ceaseless reprehensible conspiracy to wipe out Igbo people, who had lost over three million people in a genocidal civil war brought upon us by the Fulani oligarchy,’’ ASETU stated.

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