The Igbo National Congress (INC), yesterday launched what it calls ‘Operation Lion Walk’, a regional security network for the protection of the Igboland to flush out marauding Fulani herdsmen.
This development is trailing the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum issued by the group to Almajirai and Miyetti Allah to leave South East in response to the latter’s comment to roll out 100,000 Fulani vigilantes in the zone.
The National President of (INC), Chilos Godsent, in a press statement issued in Owerri, said constituting the security outfit had become germane following the continued reported killings by armed herdsmen in Igboland.
Godsent said: “You will remember that on Thursday, May 21, the Igbo National Council worldwide rose from a crucial national stakeholders meeting where we x-rayed the security situation in Nigeria more especially as it affected the Igbo Nation.
“Consequently, we issued a 21-day quit notice to the dreaded killer herdsmen, who were criminally occupying our farmlands and forests, plundering them and also raping and killing our women and men of decent blood.
“In deviance to this quit notice, the jihadists killer herdsmen have continued to attack communities in Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo states. On Friday June 12, a group of jihadists killer herdsmen, who were still hiding in some forests in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, attacked and brutally killed two men in cold blood at Mbano autonomous community and in Agwa, Oguta LGA of Imo State and ran away.”
He added that, “The INC viewed this deliberate attack on our people at Mbano Autonomous Community, Oguta, LGA as an affront on the Igbo Nation and a sign of vulnerability of some communities in the Igbo Nation.”
INC further charged “all town unions, traditional rulers and youth organisations in Igbo communities that have not constituted their vigilante groups to immediately do so and quickly commence the combing of their community farmlands and forests to fish out and flush out remnant’s of these criminal elements who are still hiding in some of our forests waiting for order to attack and attempt to invade Igbo land.
“We, therefore, must rise up now to take our destinies into our own hands more especially now that it looks like many of the governors of the Igbo states and our legislators have compromised the security and welfare of our people in exchange for political patronage.
“Noting that lions are the kings of the forests, we, therefore, have resolved to release our brave lions to take possession of their kingdoms and flush out every criminal element they may find in their kingdoms who has preferred to live in the forests rather than living in human houses.
“Cognisance of our rights to self-determination, this 15th day of June 2020, the Igbo National Council worldwide hereby launches Operation Lion Walk throughout the territories of the Igbo nation.”