Threat to Attack Delta: Fulani militia hunt for who discovered explosive

A Fulani herdsman among cattle.

Threat to Attack Delta: Fulani militia hunt for who discovered explosive
Charles Nwoke, Asaba, Nigeria
June 19, 2021

• Fulani effrontery

• Kill 1 Deltan, we will kill 10 Fulanis — Militants

The plan of Fulani militia, who posted warning notes at some tactical locations in Asaba, capital of Delta State, last Sunday, handing the Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, a 72-hour ultimatum to renounce his support for the ban on open grazing of cattle in southern parts of Nigeria, was to cause serious pain on the governor.

Governors of 17 states that made up of South-South, South-East, and South-South regions on May 11, ratified the ban on open grazing. Okowa became a target for hosting the meeting and his continuous hammering on the ban in succeeding days.

They acknowledged that one of the precious projects to Governor Okowa is the new N13 billion ultra-modern Central Secretariat Complex on Olorogun Ibru Secretariat Road, Asaba, which is almost completed and planned to blow it up to send a strong message of impending doom to him.

The Fulani Islamic fighters almost succeeded in their cruel blueprint as they, indeed, planted explosives in the Secretariat complex, May 5, awaiting detonation, just six days before Southern governors’ May 11 meeting in Asaba.

But a respectful, responsible, and loyal citizen of the state, Major Obinobe, returning from where he went to watch a football match, saw them in the dark of the night, suspected their mission, and reported to the policeman he ran into at a checkpoint on his way to Delta State Police Command Headquarters in Asaba, who quickly followed him to the scene and found the explosive device.

It was after plan A failed that the criminals conceived their plan B, which was an unsigned three-paragraph intimidation epistle to Governor Okowa and people of the state, entitled “Fulani Jihadist Warnings” that they gummed at the Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel), Infant Jesus Road, Asaba, and other strategic locations, June 13, threatening to cause serious havoc in the state capital, Asaba and Agbor, Headquarters of Ika South Local Government Area Council, if the governor did not atone of his “sin” by renouncing his support for the open grazing ban in his state, just within 72hrs, two days ago (Thursday).

Without even knowing the conspiracies that resulted in the June 13 notice, Deltans are furious at the sheer impudence of Fulani jihadists summoning guts to threaten their governor and the people of the state in their land.

The letter read: “This is to inform Delta state that the Fulani of Usman Dan Fodio leadership shall do everything it can to uphold the legacy of our heritage of open grazing, for we are nomadic people from origination and shall never negotiate the ownership of Nigeria and West Africa and Sub-Sahara.

“We hereby demand the Governor of Delta state to immediately withdraw his early stand for the call to ban open grazing in 17 regions (states) in not less than 72hours from the above date and also, withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors, as no occurrence we don’t have the first-hand information, (sic) even before the hosting of the South-west, South-East and South-South governors meeting in Asaba.

“Failure to adhere to this demand for being the host of the 17 governors, Delta state, most likely the city of Asaba and Agbor, shall encounter severe consequences than that of Bornu, Kebbi, Kastina, Kaduna, Enugu, Benue, Oyo and many more that will not respect the Fulani’s heritage, as we take responsibility for the detonated explosive uncovered in the state capital secretariat, which should serve as a warning to the Delta state government for what is to come, should the governor fail to abide by our demand.

“We highly advise all Fulani and Northerners, including the security personnel to live (sic) Delta state as soon as possible for the wind of our action is now present in the land for the failure of the governor to adhere to our call, this shall live (sic) us with no choice.”

But for the call for restraint, reactions from incensed Deltans, some militants, and ethnic groups were that the jihadists should bring it on and see what would happen to Fulani people in the state.

Movement for the Emancipation and Defence of Niger-Delta, MEDN, a militant group perceptibly different from the Popular Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, in a statement by Dragon War, stated in a counter warning to the jihadists: “The attention of ‘The Movement for the Emancipation and the Defence of the Niger Delta has been brought to the threat of some Fulani terrorists who have given a 3- day warning to the Governor of Delta State because he supported the ban of open grazing across the southern state.

“We also saw your taking responsibility for planting explosives at the Secretariat in Asaba. We are warning that if your threat is made to come to fulfillment, no Fulani will ever exist across the Niger Delta and all oil facilities linked to a Fulani will be brought down.

“If one soul is lost, ten Fulani souls will pay for it. If one facility is destroyed, ten Fulani facilities will be destroyed. We will respond proportionately ten times whatever you give, the corresponding response will not be limited to the Delta, it may be with your politicians or with your rulers.

“We will launch three rocket launchers and ballistic missiles at any facility of our choice as a warning in seven days if you make bold your threats. We don’t make cheap our threats. We have shut down the country and we can at any time shut you down.

The group added, “We are the Niger Delta, We stand for the interest of the Niger Delta and we will not allow any coward to threaten us. We fight without running. Be warned.”

Similarly, the Coalition of Urhobo Ex-Militant Leaders, CUEL, has issued a three-day ultimatum to criminal Fulani herdsmen to leave Delta Central senatorial district.

CUEL in a statement on Tuesday, at Ughelli, by the chairman of the group, self-styled “General” H.M. Ebirie, declared: “We hereby categorically advise all Fulani herdsmen to leave Delta Central now.

“In fact, we are advising them to leave Delta state because we can no longer tolerate their killing, maiming, threat, and the untold evil done to our people.

“We give them three days ultimatum to do so and failure to heed to our warning will result in the unimaginable. We will comb all our forests and do that which we know how to do best, and we will use their cows as bushmeat.”