The Nigerian Police is still detaining leaders of Ifite -Ogwari town in Ayamelun Council of Anambra State, two weeks after they were arrested after a meeting with Governor Obiano.
The detained leaders include Chief Nwaora Ikeozalla (Deputy President General) and Chief Michael Akamala (Chief Security Officer) of Ifite-Ogwari, respectively. The traditional ruler of the town, HRM Dr A.I. Ofuebe was almost arrested with the other elders at the scene of the meeting with Governor Obiano. Since then, the detained community leaders have been dumped at cells meant for hardened criminals at the CID cell in Awka, Anambra State
A week after their detention, the leader of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria MACBAN, in the South East, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki alleged that youths of Ifite-Ogwari killed four herders and 108 cows between December 20 and January 27, 2020.
Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, have been following up on the issue since the Miyetti Allah leaders raised alarm last week, at the behest of Igbo leaders, and have interacted with stakeholders in the community, state government, the police and members of the Fulani community. Igbo Mandate Congress has released its preliminary reports to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, PFN, CAN and members of the diplomatic community on the situation at Ifite-Ogwari capable of turning Anambra State into a theatre of war.
Igbo Mandate Congress IMC noted that:
The community leaders of Ifite-Ogwari are being detained at the insistence of leaders of Miyetti Allah in the South East. They justified their two-week incarceration on the mantra that they are still investigating and looking for the killers of the herdsmen and the 108 cows.
The Legal Adviser to the community, Barrister Michael Chukwuemeka, has been denied proper access to the detained elders and that the Deputy President General is in bad state of health.
Top officials of Anambra State Govt told IMC that Governor recently asked the Commissioner of Police to release the elders but the Police declined, insisting that only order from Abuja can effect their release.
Igbo Mandate Congress leaders were told by the Ifite-Ogwari elders that they were living in peace with the Fulani’s till a murderous and rapist group entered their midst.
These Murderous groups specialize in destroying people’s farms and brandishing dangerous weapons when challenged by the displaced farmers.
The murderous herders graduated to raping young girls in their farms to the point that young girls do not go to farms again.
The Murderous herders descended on married women who refused to be chased away from farms and raped them repeatedly.
The men, then started escorting their women to farms, and the herders graduated into raping married women in the presence of their husband.
The elders and youth of Ifite-Ogwari made repeated efforts to get the attention of the state government to the tension, and they were repeatedly told to forgive their enemies for the sake of national unity.
They claimed that at no point between December and January, did the youth mobilize against the Fulani, insisting that if such had happened, probably hundreds would have died.
That if anybody ever died, as claimed by Miyetti Allah, it could be as a result of a private clash between an infuriated farmer and a rapist herdsman, and the community was not involved in it.
That the claims by Miyetti Allah leaders that they killed four herders are a subterfuge to attack the community.
That whether Willie Obiano defends them or not, they will not allow rapists to invade their farmlands anymore, and will defend the community against any attack.
That Governor Obiano is insisting that the community pays N38 million naira being compensation for alleged 108 cows and that the community elders have raised some million from communal taxation.
Igbo Mandate Congress in its recommendation, advises the leaders of Miyetti Allah to expunge those murderers and rapists from their midst terrorizing communities around Ayamelum.
Igbo Mandate Congress deems Miyetti Allah actions in Anambra State as triggers for disintegration of Nigeria.. While IMC has been working in concert with Igbo elites and professionals to stem the secessionist tide in the South East since 2014, with great success, including severally calling some youth leaders to order , the Miyetti Allah counterparts are encouraging rapists and murderers in their midst .
Igbo Mandate Congress advises Governor Obiano to stop taxing the Ifite Ogwari community, and pay from state coffers the N38 million naira the Miyetti Allah demanded for the allegedly killed 108 cows. Governor Obiano should also pay N18 milllion naira for the destroyed farmlands and N18 million naira for rehabilitation of families whose daughters and mothers have been senselessly raped since the state failed to protect the community after repeated alarms.
The Nigerian Police should order the release of the community elders detained and pay them compensation for illegal two weeks detention.
The youth of Ifite Ogwari should suspend any planned reaction and allow a solution to be worked out within the next few days by concerned Igbo leaders.
Igbo Mandate Congress is a major stakeholder in Anambra State and expects those concerned to act in the interest of peace
Rev Obinna Akukwe
Director, General, Igbo Mandate Congress.