The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) has rejected calls by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for the creation of vigilance group in the Southeast to protect its members.
MACBAN made the demand last week during a security summit in Enugu State. The summit was convened by the Southeast Governors’ Forum.
But in a statement on Monday, OYC said such vigilance groups have been in existence in the zone, albeit unofficially.
The statement, signed by the President-General, Okechukwu Isoguzoro, noted that most houses and streets in the zone employ notherners as security personnel. The practice, he noted, is already a security threat to the region and which should be discontinued forthwith.
The statement reads: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council worldwide appreciates the condemnation against the demands of MACBAN, to officially establish the Fulani Youths Vigilante groups to complement the efforts of other security apparatus or vigilante groups in the Southeast.
“The truth be told, Fulani Youths Vigilante groups have been existing here for decades unofficially, and we appreciate the comments of Chief Nnia Nwodo that he will resist the establishment of Fulani Youth Vigilante group.
“But we note that over 90 per cent of the mansions and houses owned by Igbo politicians, businessman and opinion leaders keep Fulani youths as gatemen and watchmen, including Chief Nwodo at his Enugu home. We now wonder how someone can shout about resisting Fulani Youths Vigilante groups when he has been paying the same Fulani Youths as gatemen for decades.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council says except we get rid of those Fulani youths as our gatemen and watchmen, our outbursts against the establishment of Fulani Youths Vigilante groups will amount to nothing, when the vigilante groups are unofficially operating in our midst. Even most tenants prefer Fulani Youths to guard their streets than our local vigilance groups.
“Except Ndigbo do the needful, the Fulani Youths Vigilante groups are unofficially operating in the Southeast, and that’s what gave MACBAN the effrontery and audacity to look at our Leaders face to face at Southeast Security Summit Enugu, and demand their official recognition.
“MACBAN knows that those guarding our mansions in the Southeast are enough to constitute a militia to deal against the people of the people.” [THE NATION]