OPINION: Fulani Herdsmen and the Looming Sinister in the South East

By Prince Ejeh Josh.

The ploy to systematically exterminate the Igbo race and take over their land and heritage for cattle grazing is menacingly staring us at the face.

The history of the Fulani herdsman is a history rife with violence and orgy bloodletting. They have been known, from time immemorial, for their inhuman bellicosity, war and acts of barbarism. They thrive in atmosphere of chaos and primitive disorderedness.

The Fulani man comes uninvited and takes over people’s heritage in two ways. First, he may come through a piecemeal process, and second, by conquest. The latter is through a ruthless invasion, total destruction and if need be, extermination of the resisting race.

Whichever way we try to look at what’s presently taking place on the South East shore, one undeniable assertion is; the Fulani man is getting closer to the zone with a brutish affront. The herdsmen from thousands or millions of miles away from the South Eastern region are fast encroaching, and the omen should be worrisome to the Igbo nation.

Can the Igbo nation collectively avert this glooming night of calamity before nightfall? Another genocide? Who is going to tell the Igbo man that the Murderers are already at the Cathedral? Are we going to remain docile and turn deaf ear to warning and entreaties like the legendary Julius Caesar?

Few days ago, just as the MACBAN, popularly known as the Miyetti Allah, a body representing the deadly Fulani herdsmen, issued a widely publicised disclaimer in some national dailies denying threatening the Igbo nation with gruesome attacks for refusal to part its land to them for cattle grazing, at the same time, in a meeting it held with the South East Governors in Enugu, boldly told the Governors and the good people of the South East that the body was considering setting up Northern (Fulani herdsmen) Youth Vigilante Group in all the five states that make up the South East.

A strange ethnic group setting up an armed group in another ethnic land? What a temerity! What an affront! This isn’t a joke any more. Statistics recently released by the United Nations had it that Boko Haram was not the major cause of death and violence in Nigeria, but the gruesome atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen, armed banditry in the north etc. It’s this same Miyetti Allah that’s planning of setting up a vigilante group on the eastern shore.

Let me say this without fear of arrest by anybody even when signals had previously intimated me that my social media handles were placed under security watch: the greatest security threat today in the South East zone is that coming from the herdsmen. They maim the Igbo man in his sleep. They slay him on his farm. They rape his wife even in broad daylight, rob him of his possession, occupy his land, and expose his corpse to the vultures to feed.

In his celebrated work titled, “Song of Sorrow”, George Awonor noted that “strangers are taking over our portion”. These herders are bent on confiscating our land.

David Rubadiri in his “African Thunderstorms” warned of a looming dark sinister wind perching on the hill. I can see the pregnant cloud. If allowed to rain, the Igbo race may be wiped off the map of humanity like Carthage. How on earth would the Hausa/Fulani ever conceive the thought of setting up an armed group in the east? May they be reminded that the Igbo land was never an extension of the Fulani empire. May they be told that the South East was never under the Usman Danfodio’s Conquest?

The Civil War is over long time ago, they should be reminded. They should be reminded that the history of the Fulani man and that of the Igbo man has never crossed or shared any primogenitor. Let them know that the British colonial invaders never ceded nor sold the South East region to them. Time to resist every evil attempt by these herders to assert any right of conquest of the Igbo nation. If might is right to them, we’re also ready to take the path. We’ll not keep our eyes open and allow soap to permeate them.

I find it hard to reconcile the dialectics of the troubling north and the peaceful Igbo nation, and the conception of Northern Fulanization of armed group in the South East. This evil agenda must not be allowed to fly. It must be tamed now. The north is grasping for breath arising from insecurities, but these Miyetti Allah Fulani herders would not set up their vigilante groups there.

Boko Haram is slaughtering tens of thousands of people in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and many of the northern states every day, but they would not set up their barbaric Northern Youth armed groups there. Thousands are being slayed in Zamfara state without mercy each passing day by bandits. Violence and kidnapping in Kastina state, and unimaginable violence in Kaduna state. Millions of abandoned internally displaced persons are all wasting away in every corner of the north from the general nature of insecurity in the north. And the northern youth groups are all helpless in the face of these happenings? Let them go and set up their vigilante group in their states where they need it the most.

The Igbo youths must rise up and take over the streets in a peaceful protest to show their dissatisfaction with this callous affront. Our political leaders must immediately issue a public statement against this evil agenda. Boko Haram, armed banditry, Fulani herdsmen terrorism started this way. The Igbo people do not need anybody to set up any vigilante group in their region. This war must not be allowed to be fought on their land. We shall resist this conquest with the last drop of our blood. Be vigilant. Watch and pray with your two eyes open. Watch out for the marauders. Prepare to defend yourself against Fulanization.


DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.

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