Reports of arrests of suspected members of Boko Haram and pockets of incidents similar to alleged plot of the insurgents to extend their nefarious activities to some parts of the South Eastern part of Nigeria, have attracted the attention of an Igbo group who has warned against the incursion of the dreaded sect into Igboland.
The warning was dished out by a pan Igbo group based in Lagos and code-named Ndigbo Lagos, an umbrella body of all Igbo organizations in Lagos state.
Worried by the reported incursion into Igbo speaking states considering the aborted bomb explosion at Winners’ Chapel Church, Owerri few weeks ago, and arrests of suspected
insurgents in Abia and Enugu states by security agencies, the group, Ndigbo Lagos in a statement signed by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Chuma Igwe, stated that any attempt by the sect to invade the South East States would spell doom for the nation.
The statement reads in part: “While we salute the courage of the Nigerian Army for intercepting the suspects and the vigilance of worshippers in identifying the bombs, there are indications that the recent subtle but deliberate push by the terrorists into Igbo land has included the use of Fulani herdsmen to penetrate and infiltrate the underbelly of the South Eastern part of Nigeria.
“It is on record that among many complaints, in recent weeks, the people of Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu state have cried out about infiltration of their villages “Fulani herdsmen”.
“The Igbo nation had in the past suffered the most reprehensible genocide and conspiracy that have left them with little or no federal presence. Paradoxically, Ndigbo, who dwell peacefully all over the country, have loboured to develop many Nigerian towns more than any other nationality in Nigeria can claim.
“There is presently no doubt about the intentions of Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen to plunge this nation into darkness, including the invasion of the South Eastern region.
“We use this medium to caution those politicians, religious leaders and regional irredentists in the North who body language have stoked the amber of terrorism.”
It would be recalled that communities in Imo state have been experiencing untold hardship laced with sporadic harassment from itinerant Fulani herdsmen.
Apart from destruction of veritable economic crops in farm land and environmental hazards, the Fulani herdsmen are being accused of certain unwholesome acts like raping women and attacking villagers. On several occasions, communities in Owerri West and Ohaji/Egbema LGAs have had cause to embark on street protests to drive home their grievances concerning the illicit activities, of the restless cattle rearers.
The sudden discovery of the potential explosives in Winner Church, Owerri headquarters further sent down cold shivers down the spines of residents of Imo and South Easterners.
Few days after the Winners Church bomb discovery, about 434 suspected Boko Haram people moving from the Northern part of the country were apprehended at Imo Gate area of Enugu Port Harcourt Express way. Security agencies in the course of the investigation revealed that a wanted Boko Haram kingpin is among the pack including 23 others.
Before the dust raised by the developments could settle, Enugu state experienced yet another arrest of suspected Boko Haram member when arrests were made at the Nsukka axis.
By thompson agu in Lagos