By Clifford Ndujihe
IGBO youths on the banner of the Igbo Youths Movement, IYM, have urged the President Buhari-led Federal Government to probe the recent arrest of 76 farmers in Ugwuleshi community in Awgu Local Council of Enugu State over plans to protest the menace of Fulani herdsmen in the community.
Noting that the men should have been arrested by the police, the IYM in a statement by its Founder, Evangelist Elliot Uko, wondered why the 76 farmers had to be arrested by soldiers from a military base in Abia State. Worried that the development if not properly addressed would set a very bad precedent in Nigeria, IYM said:
“The army should not be easily drawn into policing, especially when emotions are high over the notorious impunity of the Fulani herdsmen. The decision to use soldiers instead of the police, was a wrong choice. Did the governors of both Abia and Enugu, specifically ask for soldiers t o cart away the farmers? Who gave the order authorizing the military to wade in? Why did the military deny that they were involved at the onset? Nobody believes the funny narrative of fake soldiers in military uniform and military trucks; we think someone is trying to cover up the obvious use of the Army to settle ethnic scores.
“We demand a thorough investigation to the use of the Army to round up and cart away all the able bodied young men in Ugwuleshi village, over incessant attacks from Fulani herdsmen. Only a thorough probe of the incident and punishment meted out to whoever ordered soldiers to invade the community, would assuage the feeling of unjust intimidation and persecution, pervading Ugwuleshi and environs at the moment.”