The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has lent his voice to the government of Enugu State as he condemned the arrest of 76 Igbo villagers from Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, consequent to a clash between the natives and Fulani herdsmen.
“It has gotten to a level that lovers of peace in Nigeria must speak out on this keg of gun powder which the threat that the Fulani herdsmen has become.”
Not less than 76 Igbo villagers, from the Ugwuneshi Autonomous community were arrested on Thursday 31st March, 2015, and carried away by “men in military uniform” after they staged a protest decrying the incessant destruction of their crops and farmlands by cattle belonging to the Fulani herdsmen who settled in the area without permission.
Responding to the alleged arrest, Governor Fayose spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, saying President Muhammadu Buhari ought to address the continued killing of Nigerian citizens and destruction of farmlands by the Fulani herdsmen.
Governor Ayodele Fayose demanded that the 76 Igbo villagers be released immediately and without conditions and also advised the present administration led by President Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, not to act in a manner that suggests that the Fulani herdsmen were lords in other people’s lands, adding that the cattle rearers were giving the impression that they are now owners of land and could execute any crime without being made to face the law. According to Mr. Fayose:
“It is worrisome that the Fulani herdsmen that killed over 400 Agatus in Benue State, raped women and destroyed farmlands in the North Central, South West and South South zones of Nigeria are walking the streets free while Igbo people, who opted to defend their sources of livelihood are languishing in detention.
“Are they saying that those Igbo villagers do not have rights to defend their farmlands from further destruction by the Fulani herdsmen when the president who should defend them is keeping silent?
“These people must be released by whichever security agency of the federal government that is holding them because Nigerians don’t deserve to be treated like slaves in their own house”.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also expressed concern over Buhari silence with regards to the never-ending attacks, kidnappings and killings carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
Abia Onyike, the PDP chieftain in Ebonyi state, called on the APC not to be selective in its fight against terrorism and also to announce a national emergency to maintain stability in Nigeria.
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