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Igbo Town Unions drag FG to ICC, EU, AU over Buhari’s threat

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By Uzoh Ugwueze, Enugu 

The Association of South-East Town Unions, ASETU, said, on Thursday, that it was taking President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to the international community.

The Igbo group based its stand on the recent statement of President Buhari that his government would treat Biafra agitators in the language they would understand.

Speaking at a press conference after an emergency meeting of the group in Enugu on Thursday, the ASETU national president, Chief Emeka Diwe, said the killings going on in the Southeast would not be swept under the carpet, stressing “we have taken a decision that this will not be limited within the shores of Nigeria.

“We have set up groups to make compilations of these abuses and, once they are done, we have professionals that will tidy the report up and we will head to the ICC. Definitely, these atrocities will not be swept under the carpet.”

He said Nigeria had lately been mired in serious security challenges as terrorists, armed bandits and killer herdsmen had continued with their destructive activities in various parts of the country even with an overwhelming audacity. 

“In Igboland, the security situation has deteriorated, especially in the last few months. The carnage against the poor, defenceless and vulnerable rural dwellers by invading armed Fulani militiamen, who masquerade as herdsmen, has gone on, unabated and unchecked. 

“This festering insecurity has taken a new and totally condemnable dimension with the rampant shootings, killings and arson that have now engulfed our land. Strategic public facilities, including security edifices and INEC offices, have been razed and law enforcement personnel ambushed and murdered. 

This inferno has also claimed countless civilian lives and, even, life itself has become a misery in many parts of Igboland today. 

“The local economy in our region is now in tatters, and agricultural productivity has further been gravely hampered by the onslaught of the armed Fulani herdsmen in our bushes and forests. All these are unacceptable to us.

“We totally condemn the continued attacks by killer herdsmen in our land. The inability of the security operatives to track and bring these merchants of death to justice over the years has remained inexplicable and totally unacceptable to us. 

“This has fuelled deep anger and mistrust in our land. We, therefore, commend our governors for, finally, paying heed to our calls for the proscription of open grazing of cattle in our land. We acknowledge the efforts of the governors who have put machineries in motion for the enactment of the anti-open grazing laws.

“The killing of policemen, soldiers and other law enforcement personnel, as well as the burning of key national security and political infrastructure that have recently been witnessed in our land, are very reprehensible acts which we totally and unequivocally condemn.”

On Buhari’s statement, ASETU said “We are appalled by the statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened to respond to Ndigbo in the language of the genocidal civil war of 1967-1970, which consumed over three million innocent Igbo lives. 

“This is just another strong act of insensitivity from the president, given his litany of non-inclusive and discriminatory actions against Ndigbo. It is appalling that President Buhari, who has never spoken strongly against the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen and bandits, is threatening to visit another festival of blood on Igbo people. We demand that he retracts that statement, tenders an apology to Ndigbo and puts off all arrangements geared towards enforcing that genocidal threat. 

“We equally wish to put the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the African Union, ECOWAS, United States of America, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel on notice of the public encouragement given by the president to uniformed officers and the general public to engage in genocidal behaviour against Ndigbo.”

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