RUGA: Our defense system is on the way- World Igbo Congress

World Igbo Congress
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World Igbo Congress


Rising from an emergency meeting and consultations with the Executive Board of Directors and House of Delegates, Council of Elders, the affiliates and all Diaspora Igbo under the aegis of the World Igbo Congress(The WIC), I, Professor Anthony Ejiofor, Chairman of the World Igbo Congress issue the following statements on the current threat, killings and on-going intimidation of the Igbo and the other Southerners.

The statement is sequel to a release by Mr. Abdul Azeez Suleiman in addressing the Federal Government on behalf of a coalition of Northern groups over the controversial matter of the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements for nomadic “Fulani Herdsmen”. By this plan, over 3,000 square miles of arable land will be forcefully taken from each of the 36 states of Nigeria. In view of the antecedents of these AK47-toting “Fulani Herdsmen” who are now known to be acting out a script, this is pure Fulanization and Islamizationscheme for the entire country.

As a prelude to the unfolding scheme, the media release by The Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM), in Kano, Saturday January 13, 2018 is reproduced here.
“Nothing will be left behind, from the East, West and Middle Belt except those who accept the creation of Allah and the leadership placed on the Fulani in fulfilling this destiny…Insha Allah (With the help of Allah), we shall take this battle across the sea, on the land, in the air, on the mountains, in every territory currently occupied by the Kafirs (Infidels). This is our position. This is our destiny”.

World Igbo Congress and all Igbo believe that the killings by the notorious untouchables called “Fulani Herdsmen” as well as the current threats of reprisals with the 30—day ultimatum constitute to a harbinger
for the impending darkness that is about to envelope the Igbo in Nigeria. Consequently, World Igbo Congress states as follows:

  1. The Igbo Diaspora which the World Igbo Congress represents observes with dismay the brazen ultimatum issued to the Federal Government of Nigeria, threatening the Igbo and other Southerners by Mr. Abdul Azeez Suleiman speaking for this coalition of Northern interests.
  2. We call on the Federal government of Nigeria to summarily arrest and prosecute Mr. Abdul Aseez Suleiman and his group for incitement and for a threat to conduct domestic terrorism against citizens of Nigeria failing which the Igbo of Southern Nigeria will use our own methods to carry out justice and defend our own people.
  3. We are in accord with the statement issued by Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, through its President-General Chief John Nnia Nwodo that the RUGA program has no basis in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and is an
    illegal move at land grabbing to effect the Fulanization and Islamization of Nigeria. Its mere suspension is not enough, and nothing short of its cancellation will be accepted by the Igbo people of Southern Nigeria;
    b. the threat of a war-mongering group undisguisedly backed by a Federal Security apparatus controlled overwhelmingly by the Fulani, threatening the expulsion of Southern Nigerians is intolerable and insulting to the Igbo. Indeed, we welcome all the Igbo in the North who wish to return home based on that threat, and will insist that all those of the North leave Southern Nigeria too within the same period of the ultimatum. The time of turning the other cheek is over. Enough of these threats!
  4. We in the Diaspora have long observed that the current unitary Federal structure foisted on the people by successive Hausa/Fulani-run military, is unsustainable. It has become an urgent imperative to dismantle this oligarchic-Caliphate structure of the federation and return to the
    founding federal system of our original republic.
  5. It is clear to us, given the current lopsided structure of the leadership, and constitution of the Federal security apparatus and law enforcement organizations in Nigeria, that the Igbo people of Southern Nigeria can longer expect legitimate protection by a National Security system under the current Federal government. The on-going invasion of Igbo farms and communities, and illegal occupation of ancestral farmlands by a Fulani militia masquerading as “Herdsmen,” with no effective response by the Federal government leaves the Igbo no choice than to defend themselves, and protect their legitimate inheritance. The WIC, therefore invokes the law of federations that grants the Igbo the right to establish its own Igbo National Defense Volunteers as a Homeland Defense Corp.
  6. We the Igbo have our traditional methods, which we shielded in submission to the convention of consent to a National government to which we conceded under a federating charter to provide security to the nation. In the face of the current rise of insecurity, and severe threat to the nation, particularly by marauding pastoralists to which the Federal government has demonstrated a lack of will to check or punish; the Igbo will no longer leave the security of its lands and peoples to such a dysfunctional and some may say, complicit institution of government. In the coming weeks the WIC will go into consultations with various Igbo community organizations, Town Unions, and Guild Societies, to explore the process of re-constituting the Igbo Egwugwu – the ancient citizens militia and policing system of the Igbo world to provide effective, and legitimate security to Igbo land and people.
  7. The Igbo shall hold the current administration of President Buhari responsible should any harm come to Onye-Igbo anywhere in Nigeria, either by acts of omission or commission by the Federal government under his leadership. And it is important to repeat this, on behalf of the WIC and the Igbo Diaspora: we in the Igbo Diaspora are forthwith resolved to hold those who threaten the Igbo, and who carry out acts of needless violence against the Igbo, to account. We are determined to deploy our global resources to assert justice, legal and extra-legal, irrespective of time and place on anybody who causes injury, harm, or violence to an Igbo irrespective of status and vocation.
  8. We the Igbo are a peaceful and tolerant people. But Nigerians must remember that we are the only people that have fought a war in Nigeria against injustice. We are proud of our history as advocates of equity and justice that led to our fierce resistance. The Igbo are the only group in Nigeria today with a reserve of citizen soldiers. Many old men in Igbo land today, who may have been traders, doctors, teachers, university professors or retired civil servants are also trained combatants, who saw action in war, and know the technical art of warfare. The Igbo are not afraid of war, or incapable of raising an Army or a reserve. We have the population. We have the resources. We choose not to raise arms because peace is ultimately good for business. But we also warn that no one should, on account of Igbo pacifism, and our choice for dialogue and toleration, misconstrue Igbo resolve as weakness. Anyi maara dowe ịke (We intentionally restrained
    ourselves). We, therefore, call on the Federal government to forthwith resolve all matters that might drive the Igbo to just response with regards to President Buhari’s illegal appropriation of Federal resources to fund Fulani causes like RUGA and Fulani radio; the uneven representation in spite of Nigeria’s Federal character requirements in the constitution of Nigeria’s National Security apparatus and all other Federal appointments that are thus far skewed against the Igbo and other Southerners, and all other actions by this administration that have caused distrust and insecurity among the federating groups.
  9. If we must preserve Nigeria, then let us preserve Nigeria. If we can no longer preserve Nigeria on the common basis of shared and secure citizenship, then let us commence the process of dismantling it for the preservation of the peace and security of its affiliate peoples. This is a federal republic. There are no kings, no commoners, no feudal Lords … just equal citizens. And the Igbo insist on the equality of Nigerians, and their rights to the good life. We also urge all men of goodwill to bear witness to our common humanity. The Fulanization and Islamization campaign must stop, or the Federal government must bear the consequence of the Igbo resolve, should this persist, to rise, organize, and fight again in resistance to the on-going injustice and threat to the charter of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is 2019
  10. World Igbo Congress calls on all lovers of the free world who profess democracy to become sensitized to the gathering ominous cloud over Igbo land. We call on all Christians throughout the world to become aware of the on-going killings of the Igbo and the pogrom threatening 50 million Christian Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria who are not willing to be Islamized. The Churches of this world must rise to be their brothers’ keepers. The numbers double if the people of rest of southern Nigeria are included. Ruwanda and Southern Sudan will pale in ferocity and brutality when the looming mayhem is fully unleashed on the Igbo and other southerners. Now is the day and time. The proverbial tomorrow will be too late.

Professor Anthony Ejiofor (Oji ọfọ ga ana),
Chairman, World Igbo Congress (WIC)

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