Residents of Asaba, Delta State capital, were, Sunday, June 13, 2021, thrown into confusion, following a threat letter by Fulani jihadists to attack the capital city over Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s support for the ban on open grazing in the southern part of the country.
The threat letter, which was pasted in some parts of the state, including the premises of Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel), Infant Jesus Road in Asaba, the Fulani jihadists vowed to carry out their threat if Okowa does not withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing within 72 hours.
The Fulani fundamentalists in the letter, entitled “Fulani Jihadist Warning: An Open Message of 2 Paragraphs To Delta State.”
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It read: “This is to inform Delta State that the Fulanis 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, ask the governor of Delta State to immediately withdraw his earlier stand on ban of open grazing in 17 regions in not less than 72 hours from the above date and also withdraw his position as the leading voice of the governors, even before the hosting of the South-South, 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.
“We take responsibility for the detonated explosive uncovered in the state secretariat, which should serve as warning to the Delta State government for what is to come, should the governor fail to abide by our demand.
“We advise all Fulanis and northerners, including the security personnel, to leave Delta State as soon as possible for the wind of our action is now present in the land. For failure of the governor to adhere to our call, this shall leave us with no choice.”
The letter was, however, not signed.
This threat is coming weeks after governors of the 17 southern states met in Asaba, where they banned open grazing of cattle in the region, which was rejected by the Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, who claimed the decision of the governors violates the rights of herdsmen to free movement. The constitution guarantees movement of persons, but not of livestock.