Orlu clash: Groups give herders 1 month to vacate South-East forests, say Army running ethnic cleansing agenda

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Orlu clash: Groups give herders 1 month to vacate South-East forests, say Army running ethnic cleansing agenda

A coalition of Civil Society groups in South-East has condemned the military onslaught on the residents of Orlu senatorial zone by the military under the pretext of fighting members of Eastern Security Network.

The groups which include Voice from the East, V-EAST; the Nigerian Society for Anti Corruption; Rights of Man Keep, ROMKEEP, and Center for Youth Development and Human Rights Upkeep in a statement by the Coordinator of the coalition and Converter of V-EAST, Comrade Kindness Jonah, said that the Nigerian Army was mindlessly killing innocent Igbo at Orlu due to the army’s helplessness in confronting the ESN in the Forest.

The coalition, however, Fulani herdsmen until February 28 to vacate forests in Igbo land, a failure which the Igbo will forcefully enter their forests to chase out the herdsmen.

Jonah explained that the quit notice was not for the Fulani in Igbo townships but Fulani in Igbo forests. He added that there would be no election in Nigeria in 2023 unless the issue of Fulani herdsmen penetrating people’s forests, killing, kidnapping, raping and maiming them was squarely settled.

Also, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, Intersociety, said while they are still studying the situation in Orlu, “we are not ruling out the repeat of Obigbo”.

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Chairman of its Board, Emeka Umeagbalasi said in a statement that: “The truth is that the Nigerian Army is running an ethnic cleansing agenda. It has no other assignment than to track and massacre Igbo, claiming that their personnel were attacked and killed.

“But just last week as reported by a leading online media, seven soldiers, including the leader of the team, a captain was ambushed and killed by Fulani bandits in a forest located in Nasarawa State. They were killed while on a mission to rescue some kidnapped villagers. Yet heaven did not fall and the communities in that area are inhabited and going about their businesses.

“But here in Igbo land, it is genocidal and Jihadist on the part of the Nigerian Army. Just imagine how the entire church building belonging to a member of the African Instituted Churches was destroyed and scores of its officials and laypersons abducted by soldiers of the 34 Brigade, Owerri and later dumped at the State CID, Owerri. The 34 Brigade is commanded by a Hausa-Fulani, Brig-Gen Ibrahim Tukura”.