Sunday, June 29, 2014

Igbo, Ijaw Vow to Defend Territories From Boko Haram
Damaturu bomb blast in Nigeria. 
JUNE 30, 2014
Nigerian Punch

Leaders of the Igbo and Ijaw nations have vowed to defend their territories in the face of the terrorist attacks of the Boko Haram sect.

The ethnic nationalities made the declaration in separate speeches during the inauguration of the newly elected National Executive Council of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing in Enugu.

While the new Leader of the Ohanaeze Youth Wing, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, assured that Igbo youths would defend Igboland against the incursion of the Boko Haram sect, the Acting President of the Ijaw National Congress, Charles Ambaiowei, an engineer, said the Ijaws are capable of defending themselves “if the time comes for everybody to defend themselves.”

Making his inaugural address, Isiguzoro raised the alarm over the gradual incursion of the Boko Haram sect and Fulani herdsmen into the South-East.

“We condemn the ongoing Boko Haram terrorist attacks as an ill wind that will blow no good. We shall do all in our powers to defend Igbo territory against the incursion of Boko Haram, since such incursion shall have dire consequences for national security.

“We as well condemn the terrorist activities of the so-called Fulani herdsmen who terrorise innocent farmers and women at will.

“Just two days ago, they attacked two women at Agbogugu, here in Enugu State in their farms, maiming them seriously,” he said.

He urged the Arewa Consultative Forum to call the perpetrators to order “if those people are actually Fulani herdsmen.”

Stressing that the Ohanaeze Youth Wing would collaborate with the governors to combat kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal vices in Igboland, Isiguzoro urged President Goodluck Jonathan to help fight insecurity in the South-East by “extending amnesty to south-eastern militants, who were denied amnesty by President Umaru Yar’Adua based on their being from the South-East.”

He explained that the Igbo militants, who fought in the creeks alongside “their Ijaw brothers” had relocated to the South-East with their armory and their boys after they were not carried along in the amnesty programme.

The Ohanaeze youth leader further urged Jonathan to provide more infrastructure in the South-East in order to guarantee the support of the Igbo youths in the 2015 presidential election, “when he decides to run”.

On his part, the leader of the Ijaw National Congress, Ambaiowei, said that, like the Igbos, the Ijaws are ready to defend their territory in the face of the violent campaign of the Boko Haram sect.

He said Jonathan was the target of the Boko Haram campaign, which he said, was aimed at making things difficult for the president.

“If the time comes for everybody to defend themselves, then the Ijaws will be capable of defending our territory. The Ijaw territory is small: we are capable of defending it – I am sure the Igbos will be capable of doing the same thing,” he said.

Continuing, the Ijaw leader said, “The truth must be told, the Boko Haram insurgency was formulated to make things difficult for our brother President Goodluck Jonathan.”

He joined Ohanaeze Ndigbo in calling for the “dismantling” of the current states structure.

“Regionalism is the answer,” Ambaiowei stressed.

Also, he pointed out that the emergence of Jonathan as President did not mean that all the problems of the Ijaws have been solved.

Chairman of the event, former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd), in his remarks, urged Nigerian youths to fight insurgency and insecurity.

Ihejirika said, “President Goodluck Jonathan is performing very well. There is so much we can do in this country but without security, we cannot do much.”


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