by Mgbeke Obi
There is a huge expanse of land called Northern Nigeria. The prominent northerners like Bugaje have always told us how the North owns the littoral waters and the oil of the Niger Delta because a large percentage of the space called Nigeria is lands of the North. Eastern Nigeria, we are told has less land mass than the other regions, and according to them, does not deserve to have an equal number of states with the other regions.
How is it then, that the governors of the South East states are under pressure from their northern counterparts, to approve the grazing bill and allocate lands in the region for Fulani herdsmen? Can’t these herdsmen who are doing their private businesses buy lands for their businesses as other business people do?
The governors of the South East states, with the exception of Anambra state governor, have assented to the grazing bill and land allocation to the Fulani. Don’t listen to their lies on the contrary. At a time when Oyo state, Ondo state and Ekiti state governors have all issued statements that they would not give an inch of their states to people doing their private businesses, these Igbo go errors have agreed to, and set in motion procedures to give Fulani people lands. That is what embolden those Fulani.
Pay close attention. Those Fulani do not want to simply graze cattle and go home like some Igbo who live in the north do their businesses and go home. They want to stay, and become indigenes, dragging our lands and fighting us. Check out the Middle Belt states like Plateau, Nassarawa, Jigawa, Benue. Their intention is to become sons-of-the-soil.
Now, you know who aids and abets the herdsmen. Ignore the crocodile tears. Look deeply into this. I cursed out TA Orji when I read that he led SE governors to assent to grazing bill and map out lands. He responded and denied giving such lands. I am still sceptical about his denials, because I know that without an insider collaboration, these herders won’t exhibit such boldness as they have.
Every single community in Enugu State has herdsmen stationed there. Some have lived for 10, 20 years. They know the bush terrains more than the indigenes. You are not safe!!!
An armed man is a free man, according to my friend Aik. There’s an urgent need for an Igbo militia. The northern states have an informal militia tagged fulani herdsmen, and a formal militia called hisbah. What happens in Igboland cannot happen in the core north. In fact we need two militias as they have, not one.
Mgbeke Obi is a graduate of the University of Nigeria. She writes from Lagos. Connect with her on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.