Elite Igbo group, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, led by Professor Uzodinma Nwala, has said no fewer than 400 villages in the South-East have been taken over by rogue herdsmen, and the governors in the region are to blame for it.
ADF called the development “excesses of the herdsmen in the South-East zone,” noting that “as a result of bad governance and insensitivity on the part of the governors in the zone, rogue herdsmen have taken over 400 villages in the South-East.”
ADF alleged that failure of governance on the part of South-East governors “manifests in lawlessness, disobedience of laws by citizens and groups without appropriate sanctions from government and security agencies.”
The group also said the “lack-lustre attitude by elected officials of government, public administrators and security agencies has emboldened the rogue herdsmen to commit all manner of criminal activities in Igboland.”
Speaking in a statement condemning the “lackadaisical attitude of the South-East states’ governors, issued by its Chairman, Media and Publicity Bureau, Abia Onyike, ADF said: “The herdsmen have taken over 400 villages in the South-East with regular reports of constant incidents of killings, kidnappings, raping of women and girls and other criminal activities.
“It is in the light of this development that ADF congratulates the Chairman of Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Chuks Oseme, who recently mobilised his council authorities to set up a vigilante group to flush out criminally-minded herdsmen that were involved in killings, rape and kidnapping in the forests within the area.
“The council Chairman had stated that herdsmen and other strangers in their vicinity must obey the laws of the land and respect the rules or be prepared to be flushed out of the area.
“Such a courageous and unequivocal statement from an elected government official condemning the atrocities of herdsmen in Delta State is a very good example of what is required of government officials and the law enforcement agencies in order to remind the herdsmen and miscreants that they are not above the law.
“State governors, federal lawmakers and security agencies should speak out in defence of the right to life of the citizenry and the supremacy of the rule of law, to re-assure Nigerians that we are not descending into the rule of the jungle.”