An Igbo elite group, Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), led by Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, documented and presented a draft of anti-open grazing bill to governors of the seven Igbo speaking states in Southern Nigeria.
The Foundation unveiled the draft bill to the public at a press conference in Enugu on Wednesday, declaring that the draft bill is designed for seven states which include Enugu, Imo, Rivers, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia and Delta.
Max Ozoaka, Coordinator, ADF legal bureau/chairman, ADF anti-open bill committee; and Mr. Onochie Ukeme, Secretary of the Committee, at the briefing, encouraged the Houses of Assembly of the seven states to emulate their counterparts in Benue and Ekiti states and give the bill accelerated passage into law.
They said that the bill was necessitated by the need to protect the people of the area against the rampaging killer herdsmen, who were alleged to be pursuing jihad agemda.
“Various communities in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are currently overwhelmed by wide-spread invasion by heavily armed Fulani Herdsmen, who have engaged in systematic and reckless grazing of cattle on cultivated agricultural lands, destruction of crops, attacks, abduction and killings of farmers; rape of their women and daughters and in many cases involving sack and displacement of entire communities.
“The Fulani herdsmen are presently classified as the fourth most deadly terrorist organization in the world, after ISIS, Al- Shabab and Boko Haram.
“It has been firmly established that what is afoot is a Jihad being waged in the guise of herdsmen. The heavily armed herdsmen include both Fulani citizens of Nigeria and other Fulani from other West African countries such as Niger, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
“There is hardly any state in Nigeria which has not witnessed the horrors inflicted by these Fulani herdsmen armed with AK 47 and other sophisticated weapons,” the foundation declared.