Gen Obi Abel Umahi
South-East Security Committee
August 25, 2020
Resignation as a Member of South-East Security Committee.
I write to resign formally as a member of the South-East Security Committee which was set up at a Joint Meeting of the Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) since February 2020. I do this because the purpose for which this Security Committee was set up has been made null and void with the pronouncements of the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi Sate, abolishing the idea of a Regional Security Architecture for the South-East. According to him, the Governors of the South East have jointly rejected the idea of a Regional Security Architecture for the entire South East and by extension, the entire Alaigbo.
The fact that the so-called South East Security Committees set up since early 2020 and after several months nothing had been achieved means that it was not intended to serve any useful purpose.
In place of a Regional Security Scheme for Alaigbo, the Governors of the South-East have accepted the Community Policing program of the Federal Government. As you may recall, the Community Policing program has been rejected by the South East after the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) exposed its inherent character as a policy to encourage the continued serial killing, kidnapping and rape of our women as well as to ensure the occupation of Alaigbo by the Fulani Jihadists.
As you celebrate may recall, ADF had compared the policy of Community Policing as equivalent to handing over the Security of Chickens to the Hawks.
In opting out of the now moribund South East Security Committeem, we, in ADF shall continue to work with the various pan-Igbo organizations to advance all possible and legitimate means of ensuring the Security of Alaigbo and her neighbors.
It is to be recalled that in a Press Statement issued by the ADF on February 2020, we had stated unequivocally that the “POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police has been IN OPERATION IN THE SOUTH EAST while the horrors in several parts of Alaigbo including Ebonyi State as depicted in the Report of Chief Igariwey at the last Ime-Obi meeting as well as that depicted in the Report by Mr. Aduba (CP Rtd.) at the Joint meeting of Ime-Obi and the Governors Forum, all those horrors rather than abating have been rising to crescendo with our helpless people wondering if they have any Government or leaders who care for their plight”.
It is to be observed, very unfortunately, that immediately following this declaration of the South-East Governors, the unarmed Igbo youths have been gruesomely mowed down in Enugu State by combined forces of the Army, Navy, Police and other security forces.
Most of the personnel of the forces are no doubt non-Igbos. What is more? While this is happening, none of our Governors are saying anything.
In addition, it is our view and stand that;
i. The Security of Alaigbo is a joint responsibility between the Government and the People of Alaigbo.
ii. ADF is not opposed to any genuine and positive role of the Federal Government and her agencies in helping to tackle the prevailing state of grave insecurity in Alaigbo, provided –
iii. That such role by Federal Agencies must be under the exercise and full control of personnel of our zone.
iiii. The primary Security outfit for the protection of Alaigbo must be that created by the Government and people of Alaigbo.
v. Our people should not abandon their own individual and community responsibility over their security/
vi. If the Governors decide to abandon their own responsibility over the Security of our people, we, as organized patriotic forces in our land must continue to courageously play our role to ensure that our people overcome the prevent dangerous siege over our land.
vii. This is why history beckons on the emergent Coalition of Religious and Civil Society groups in Alaigbo to remain focused and determined to help protect our people. Certainly part of their responsibility is to provide strategic guidance to our patriotic youths to enable them play their role constructively.
Finally, we wish to call on the Federal Government to legalize the use of AK47 so that our people can arm themselves for self-defense. In the absence of this, we call on our people to arm themselves with any available defensive weapons for the protection of themselves, our wives and our children, This is a fundamental natural right that supersedes any state law.
PROF T. UZODINMA NWALA,
i. His Excellency
Governor Dave Umahi
Chairman South-East Governors F orum
ii. The South-East Governors Forum
iii. The President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo
iiii. The Coalition of Alaigbo Religious and Civil Society Organizations
v. Pan-Igbo Groups and Pro-Biafra Organizations in Alaigbo
vi. Chairman, South-East Council of Traditional Rulers
vii. Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT)
viii. Chief Mbazulike Amaechi,
ix. His Lordship, Bishop Obi Udezue Onubogu
Chairman, ADF BOT
x. Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa
xi. Archbishop J.V Obinna, etc.
ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW AND THE SECURITY OF ALAIGBO
In 2016, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), following consultations with some of our respectable stakeholders submitted a Draft Anti-Open Grazing Bill to all the Seven (7) States in Igbo-Speaking Areas.
Only the Abia House of Assembly passed the Bill thereafter, awaiting to be signed into law by the Governor.
That initiative of ADF was sequel to her earlier intervention in both the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives, challenging the RUGA, CATTLE COLONY AND GRAZING ROUTES (or whatever name it has ever be known) as were then proposed by the Federal Government.
Those programs eventually have been rejected by majority of the various states and nationalities within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Why is the Grazing of Cattle an issue and core one affecting the Security of lives and property in the Republic today?
Those who emphasize what they call herders-farmers clash as a major root-cause of the present bloody Security situation in Alaigbo and other parts of the Federation are right in a sense. The free roaming and grazing of cattle that lawlessly destroy the crops of helpless farmers is the major root cause of the problem.
What is more, criminals from West African and other countries have taken advantage of this situation to invade our communities wrecking all manner of havoc, killing, maiming, kidnapping our innocent citizens, rapping our wives and daughters with reckless abandon.
The Nigerian President, General Mohammad Buhari has himself confessed that many of these criminals come from Libya.
The most common identity of these criminals is that they hide under the movement of cattle.
Subsequent events show that the Buhari Regime and all other Fulani-controlled governments in the Federal Republic have encouraged this infiltration and invasion by the Fulani from other West African countries. They have not only opened the Nigerian borders to them, they have officially invited them to come and occupy Nigeria.
Therefore, the first step in tackling the Security challenges is to control the free movement and grazing of Cattle.
We are not saying that nobody should rear cattle. All we are saying is that open grazing of cattle is bad for our Security and is bad for our economy and our survival.
Therefore, the law banning open grazing of animals, cattle, goat and sheep is imperative for the above reasons.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE AND DONE URGENTLY?
We must “ASSERT OUR COLLECTIVE RESOLVE AND CALL ON OUR GOVERNMENTS TO ENACT THE ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW AS WELL AS PUT IN PLACE ALL NECESSARY MEASURES TO ENFORCE THE LAW”
OUR CUSTOMARY LAW!!
Above all and in the absence of State Law, we have our ANCESTRAL CUSTOMARY LAW which prohibits the roaming of GOATS, SHEEP, COWS, CATTLE, in our communities and farms.
We have Old Eastern Nigeria Law which prohibits the roaming of animals within the communitues.
In addition, we have in Imo State an Anti-Open Grazing Law passed under the regime of Governor Udenwa.
Such animals prohibited from open Grazing under these laws are teetered to avoid the destruction of farm lands if they are allowed to roam freely within the community.
In most of our ancestral communities, women organize themselves and provide schedules for various groups of women to operate on assigned days, to monitor, arrest offending animals and handing them over to community leaders. The owners of such animals must pay approved fines before they can reclaim their animals
It is now imperative that we must compel our State Governments to Urgently enact the Anti-Open Grazing Law and provide all necessary measures to ensure their strict enforcement. This is one crucial step to ensure the security of lives and property in our Region!
ROLE OF COMMUNITY VIGILANTES:
Today, virtually all communities have their VIGILANTE (Local Security Watch), Therefore, every community must be encouraged to set up their Community Vigilante. State Houses of Assembly and Governors should quickly enact enabling Laws to back such measures.
The State Governments and the various communities must provide the needed resources for their effective operation.
We must say NO to the so-called COMMUNITY POLICING Program being propagated by the Nigerian Police which some Governors are cowardly, and for some other reasons, are accepting.
To surrender our Security to the Fulani-dominated Nigerian Police is like asking the hawks to police the chickens!
We in the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) as well as other Religious and Civil Society Organizations in Alaigbo Call on our people to take their destiny into their hands.
Security is the joint Responsibility of the People and their Government!
Any State Governnent that fails to take these legal and political measures to ensure the security of our ancestral homes must be declared an enemy of our people.
It is in this breath that both ADF and the Coalition of Alaigbo Religious and Civil Society Organizations support the #EndOpenGrazingNow Campaign# as well as the “One Million March” proposed for this August supported by ADF and other organizations which BVI has been promoting.
ADF is also urging our people in mainland Alaigbo and other areas to immediately follow-suit the courageous and patriotic steps being taken and enforced by our kits-and-kin in the ANIOMA areas of Delta State to prevent the invasion of their territory by Fulani Herdsmen. Umuigbo our destiny is in the hand of God, but our God expects us not to fold our hands and allow our ancestral land to be overrun by the invaders. We must fight for it and then He will give us victory!
Prof . Uzodinma Nwala
ADF President .
Aug. 3, 2020