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Igbo patriots, at Enugu meeting, demand fair deal, others


Enugu PHOTO: Enugu State Government

Some stakeholders in the South east region, under the aegis of Igbo Patriots, have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to de-escalate the tension in the polity by being more sensitive, just, considerate, humane and patriarchal in dealing with the affairs of the nation taking into cognisance the ethnic, cultural and religious diversities of the country.

At a gathering yesterday in Enugu, they rejected the grazing bill and proposed cattle colonies, even as they vowed to ‘stop’ any government in the zone that attempts to cede part of its territory for cattle business.

Addressing a press conference after their meeting, the group noted that it was worried by the determination of the Federal Government to “muscle the National Assembly to legislate obnoxious grazing and cattle colony bills despite its implication and resistance by Nigerians.”

In a statement read by their coordinator, Obumneke Okafor, the body stated that it was most perplexing that the demand to enact the bill by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is coming on the heels of the atrocities of the herdsmen that have led to destruction of food and cash crops as well as loss of lives.

Stressing why Ndigbo would resist the bills, the Igbo Patriots added: “Historically, socio-politically and spatially, we are republican by nature, orientation and attitude. This makes it imperative that whatever decisions or actions that will impact the mass of our people or involve the general good, welfare or will of the citizens must be democratically deliberated, agreed and acted upon transparently.”

It disclosed that it was shocked that certain Igbo who occupy positions of authority were conniving with federal authorities to compromise the interest, well-being and security of Ndigbo by promising lands for grazing reserves and cattle colonies.

Okafor noted: “Igbo patriots are averse to such action(s) and will not tolerate their prodigal exploits in whatever guise, form or shape. We dare make bold to state unequivocally   that we won’t yield an inch of land to satisfy the private business interest of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders and their hegemonic patrons.”

Okafor, who was surrounded by the group’s Australian coordinators Okezie Ogu and Kelechi Nwagbaraocha; Asia, European as well as North American coordinators, Jack Igweigbo; Chijioke Oham and Kenny Uzoma among others, appealed to Igbo in authority to heed the call of their people.

The group also urged the legislative houses in the zone to enact anti-grazing laws with a view to empowering the governors to enforce the legislation without hindrance.

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