We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprising individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; condemn in the strongest terms the massacre once again of defenceless citizens in cold blood by marauding Fulani terrorists in Uzo-uwani Enugu state. At the last count, more than 50 persons lost their lives, countless others maimed while Churches and other property were burnt down. Reports from various sources have confirmed that as these terrorist attacks were ongoing, the federal government and colluding security services i.e. the Nigerian army, DSS and Police refused to intervene to stop the carnage. We submit that the most important constitutional responsibility of a state is the protection of lives and property but when the same state and its agents now take sides with terrorists on tribal grounds to facilitate the slaying of other citizens, it constitutes not only a treasonable abdication of duty but also a violation of international statutes against terrorism and a crime against humanity.
We note that it’s not the first time the federal government and the security services have openly aided and abetted Fulani herdsmen terrorists as they massacre citizens across the country. Most recently it happened in Agatu Benue state, in Awgu Enugu state and now again in Uzo-Uwani Enugu state. For all intents and purposes; this is a very dangerous route that previously led to the Nigerian civil war and that can only lead to anarchy. We have accordingly lost faith in the federal government’s commitment to respecting its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of all citizens. However as a last-ditch effort to save the situation we make the following demands.
- That the federal government should immediately declare a state of emergency against the terrorist activities of Fulani herdsmen and accordingly disarm the errant herdsmen and arrest the culprits implicated in the Enugu massacre and other atrocities across the nation.
- That the federal government should as a matter of urgency remove and prosecute the Chief of army staff, the director-general of DSS, the IG of Police, the GOC 82 division Enugu and the Enugu state commissioner of police for criminal/treasonable collusion and dereliction of duty.
- That the federal government should immediately overhaul and restructure the army, DSS, police and other security services in view of professionalising them.
- That henceforth all movement of cows and herdsmen should be by trucks or by train as the case may be and the herdsmen should enter negotiations with states and or local governments to lease land (subject to its renewal every year) where secured ranches could be established for the purposes of restraining cows within the said ranches.
- That the arrangement to lease land for ranches in any state of the country should be purely a private affair between the herdsmen and the state or local governments like all other private businesses and as such no federal commission should be created for that purpose.
- That the federal government should pay adequate compensation to victims and families of Fulani terrorist attacks and provide funds for the reconstruction of all such ravaged communities.
- That the federal government should urgently begin the framework for the establishment of state police to enable a more effective means for the protection of lives and property by states in the federation.
- That the federal government should as a matter of urgency either organise a sovereign national conference or implement the 2014 national conference report as a strategy to tackle the nation’s growing existential crisis.
Finally, we call on the governors to evolve a better trained and equipped local vigilante service to protect the villages. We also call for a total boycott of beef as an interim measure, and for all communities within the frontlines to be vigilant and to take all necessary proactive steps to defend themselves by any means necessary against the invading terrorists.
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiative