Some youth groups in the Middle Belt and southern part of Nigeria have vowed to resist the incursion of the dreaded Fulani herdsmen into their regions.
They have therefore urged the various state governors in the North-Central, South-West, South-East and the South-South geopolitical zones to offer necessary support to their members.
The militia groups, whose leaders spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, included Agbekoya Farmers Association, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Others are the National Council of Tiv Youths, Middle Belt Youth Council and the Middle Belt Forum (Youth Wing).
We’re well prepared to defend Yoruba land –Agbekoya
The National Publicity Secretary of the Agbekoya Farmers Association, Chief Olatunji Bandele, said the group was prepared to defend the South-West against herdsmen’s attacks.
Bandele stated, “The Agbekoya Farmers Association of Nigeria, founded in 1938, has now established the Agbekoya Vigilante Group, a security outfit, to secure our farmlands and crops.
“The Fulani herdsmen should steer clear of the South-West if their mission is to come and kill innocent citizens.
“Agbekoya is now ready to defend the South-West, especially our farmers, their families, farmlands and crops.”
Armed herdsmen are terrorists—MASSOB
Also, MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, said his group had perfected arrangements to resist attempts by the northern elite to use armed herdsmen to secure a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Madu said, “MASSOB and other pro-Biafra groups represent the genuine interest of the Ndigbo which can never be denied. The Igbo leaders are not afraid to support or collaborate with Biafra agitating groups for the betterment of Igbo land and her people.”
Also, MASSOB’s Director of Information, who spoke on behalf of the group’s founder, Ralph Uwazuruike, said the group would insist on a free state of Biafra to enable the Igbo to deal with the criminal invasion by herdsmen wielding AK-47 rifles, arrows, machetes and other dangerous weapons.
“They have attacked almost all parts of the country with impunity. They are not hiding; they boast and walk freely on the streets without the Federal Government doing anything.”
In the same vein, IPOB, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, told one of our correspondents that it had issued notices to herdsmen to vacate Igbo land since their mission was to cause mayhem.
We have signed our death warrants – Middle Belt Youths
In the same vein, the President of the National Council of Tiv Youths, Dr. John Akperashi, said his members had resolved to shed their blood to resist further attacks by the dreaded herdsmen.
He said, “The battle line has been drawn. The youths in the Middle Belt are ready and have agreed to rise up in unison to reject the Federal Government time bomb dressed in white robes.
“The Tiv youths particularly are pushed to the wall now and have collectively signed their death warrants, ready to pay the supreme price if that would count, to sustain and protect our lands from any form of colonisation, be it cattle, human or both.”
FG encouraging self-help, says M’Belt Council
Also, the President, Middle Belt Youth Council, who is also the youth leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Emma Zopmal, said by its inaction, the Federal Government was telling the Middle Belt youths to resort to self-help.
He said, “We cannot sit and watch this manslaughter on a daily basis. Life does not have a duplicate and it should not be allowed to be wasted needlessly all the time. The days of mourning will soon be over in the Middle Belt.
“The Fulani are only 4.7 million in Nigeria. How then can they continue being a threat to the whole nation of more than 160 million people that are not Fulani? Enough is enough; we are now poised for war.”