As the ultimatum given to Fulani herdsmen by the Eastern Security Network to vacate bushes and forests in Southeast expires today, the regional security organisation, an initiative of the leader of Indigenous Poeple of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, may have started the enforcement of the ban in Enugu State.
Our correspondent, who went round the state capital and its environs, weekend, saw notices of the enforcement dotting every nook and cranny of the state.
The notice read: “Warning! Warning! Warning! No cattle should be found in the forests and bushes of the Biafran land henceforth.
“Therefore, movement of cattle by Fulani herdsmen is hereby banned. No more raping of our women in the farm; no more kidnapping of our people; no more destruction of crops in our farmlands.
“Anywhere we see cattle, we will take them down. Eastern Security Network is here to put an end to the malicious activities of the Fulani herdsmen within the territories of the Biafran land.”
Our correspondent reports that the situation has been calm, as there are no reported skirmishes between ESN operatives and the herders. However, the movement of grazing cattle has been almost absent in the state capital since the ultimatum was issued some weeks ago.
Unconfirmed sources say some of the herders had left their settlements in forests.
Recall that Barr Aloy Ejimakor, special counsel to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, told THE WHISTLER in an exclusive interview, that, “From what I know as of Counsel, the ESN is not interested in law-abiding Fulani herdsmen. The distinction is clear. Their intention is to flush out violent-prone Fulanis and others that live in forests. When you come into a community to graze on their land, if your intention is pure, you will not live in forests. Come out in the open so that people can know who you are. Even if you want to live in forests, why not go to traditional rulers, local government chairmen, vigilante leaders and youth leaders to state your reasons?
“But here, the herders excommunicate themselves and become hostile to their host communities. What do you want the people of that area to do? They have to take action. In my understanding, that’s what ESN is all about. In theory, it may be misunderstood, but in practice, it is merely a confluence of local vigilantes, all geared to the making of a regional outfit that caters to Eastern Nigeria under a central command. So, to this extent, ESN should not be perceived as an offensive outfit.”
Some residents of 9th Mile in Udi LGA of the state have hailed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for the initiative. A woman, who does not want his name mentioned, said, “If this Fulani wahala ends like this, the glory will go to God and Nnamdi Kanu. Mazi Kanu has done what our leaders refused to do. It is becoming too much. I have stopped going to farm since two years ago because of what we see in their hands.”