The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has lamented the growing threat of armed Fulani herdsmen in the South East geo-political zone.
The pan Igbo group in a statement on Monday alleged that the herdsmen have illegally taken over more than 400 villages in the zone with frequent reports of killings, kidnapping and raping of women and girls and other criminal activities.
The statement, which was signed by the chairman of the Media and Publicity Bureau of the group, Chief Abia Onyike, called on the governors and state Houses of Assembly in the zone to quickly pass into law the bill the anti-open grazing, which they (ADF) had presented before them in order to checkmate the activities of the herdsmen in the zone.
The statement read: “The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), after a careful review of the worsening security scenerio in the South East states of Nigeria, hereby wishes to state as follows:
“That the excesses of the Fulani herdsmen in the zone can be traceable to the failure of governance in Igboland, which manifests in lawlessness, disobedience of laws by citizens and groups, without appropriate sanctions from government and security agencies. “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.”