A South East Professional group has condemned the violent activities of members of the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), especially as they relate to the profiling of Fulani herdsmen in the geo-political zone of the country.
The association under the aegis of Coalition of South East Professional Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), said on Thursday in Abuja that Fulanis, either as herdsmen or no, like other Nigerians can live in any parts of the country.
The association’s National President, Prof. Madumere Chika, said that Ndigbo both at home and in the diaspora should remember that a court of competent jurisdiction had proscribed IPOB, and accordingly labelled it a terrorist organisation.
“Peaceful Fulani herders, like other citizens, have the inalienable right to live and reside in any part of Nigeria without molestation, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended),” Chika said.
He condemned Kanu and members of his proscribed group for portraying Igbo as a violent people, who do not have the sense of accommodation and hospitality.
Insisting that the people of South East are peaceful, amiable and accommodating, the association reiterated that the unity of Nigeria remained non-negotiable, and enjoined Ndigbo within and outside to denounce Kanu and IPOB.
He also condemned what he called an illegal contraption called Eastern Security Network (ESN), operated by Kanu, saying there could not be a government-within-a-government.
He, however, commended the Hausa/Fulani in the North and across the country for remaining calm and restraint.
“We call on the military and security agencies to move in, arrest and subject all elements operating under the ESN to deserved justice, while dismantling the illegal platform forthwith. In particular, we commend the peaceful conduct of our Hausa/Fulani brothers in their domain and outside for not taking the law into their own hands, in the face of glaring provocation by Kanu and his followers.
“We hold that Kanu, in action and deed, does not represent the collective interest of the South East, hence should be disregarded and seen as inconsequential. We are further using this platform to distance ourselves and the Igbos in general, from the threats issued to peaceful Fulani herders in parts of the South East, as we have always maintained that the freedom to reside and conduct legitimate business in any part of the country, is sacrosanct.
“How can a region known for its entrepreneurial spirit and republican nature, with huge investments in almost every part of Nigeria, allow a fugitive, who is apparently being sponsored by external forces, to continually cast us in such a bad light?” Chika said.