Following what it described as unbridled, barefaced marginalization and threat to total annihilation of the Igbo Nation, as indicated in the seeming exclusion of people or leaders from the areas, from the National Security Council, and the unabated and reprehensible killings of Igbo farmers by heavily armed Fulani militia group, the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), has resolved to setup a joint community based vigilante outfit and security trust fund, to check the rising cases of insecurity and invasion of Igbo land.
This is one of the various outcomes of the maiden annual retreat of the Association organized at Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, between October 3rd and 6th, 2019.
In a release issued at the end of the four (4) day retreat,signed by the trio of Chief Emeka Diwe, as National President, Hon. Gideon Adikwuru, as National Secretary and Dr. I.I Onwubuya (Okosisi Abagana) as Chairman of BOT, the ASETU leadership called for immediate implementation of the resolution of South East Governors, banning herdsmen from taking their cows from one location to another, by foot. This stand by the Governors of South East according to ASETU, represents their position.
They urged the Houses of Assembly in the South East to pass legislations to back the position of Ndi Igbo, banning open grazing in Igbo land without further delay and to sustain the rejection of the National Livestock Transformation programme in the South East, by the Governors.
The release reads in part,”We support the resolution of the South East Governors to establish a Joint Air Patrol to flush out bandits from South East forest, and urge them to quickly implement this resolution.
We condemn in the strongest terms, the unlawful invasion of the Abuja residence of the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors Forum, His Excellency, Engr. David Nwaeze Umahi, by security operatives ostensibly to cow him to retract the position of South East Governors on open grazing. We call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to make the identities and intentions of the sponsors of that invasion public, as it raises deeper concern and security threat to the lives of the Igbo in Nigeria.
We are committed to partnering with every credible organization within and outside Igbo Land and in the Diaspora with identical objectives of ending the gross injustices, marginalization and killings of the people of Southern Nigeria and of the Middle Belt.
We condemn in strong terms the acute neglect of the ancestral Igbo communities in Benue State by the Government and the outrageous threats of annihilation which they and other Igbos resident in Benue State grapple with in the hands of Fulani Herdsmen and sundry armed bandits. They have been subjected to coordinated attacks and kidnappings in places like Ado, Oju, Obi and Okpoku Local Government Areas of the State. The Government and security agencies must act to put a stop to all these.
We urge all our people outside Igbo land to “think home” and embrace the “Aku Ruo Ulo” Investment Initiative of the Town Unions without further delay as this would further boost the economy of the Igbo Nation, create employment and sustain the ingenuity of the Igbo man.
We urge the Governors of the South East and other stakeholders to embrace Industrialization and specialized multi location of South East International Markets, recognizing the comparative advantage of each location and State, by making land available for the building of these markets, to expand trade in the region and to accommodate the returning businesses of our kiths and kin.
We commend the World Igbo Congress for extending invitation to us during their last Annual Convention in the United States of America and for their recognition and choice of the Town Unions as the catalyst for driving their programmes to the Igbo grassroots. We assure them of our determination to mobilize the communities we represent as Town Unions to support their various laudable initiatives in their struggle for justice, development, and security of lives and property of Ndi Igbo.
Having undertaken a facility tour of Ebonyi State and seen the infra structural projects of the present administration both completed and on-going, we wish to commend the Ebonyi State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. David Umahi, for transforming Ebonyi into a model State. This is worthy of emulation and we urge him to sustain the tempo.
We strongly condemn the South African xenophobic attacks on Nigerian citizens living in their country, and we heartily commend our illustrious son and Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, for his patriotism and immeasurable compassion which he has demonstrated by rising to the occasion and evacuating Nigerians free of charge faced with the threat of obliteration in South Africa. This is indeed a quintessential Igbo spirit”, it concluded.