The continued menace of the Fulani herdsmen across the South East particularly Enugu and Anambra states has been attributed to the lack of focus and seriousness of President Muhammadu Buhari, governors of the zone and the church leaders for not showing commitment and protection to the lives of the people of the zone.
Expressing his repugnance over the recent massacre, kidnap and killings of innocent people of Nimbo and Attakwu in Enugu state, and the kidnap of a Catholic priest and wounding of others in Nnewi in Anambra state, a vocal catholic priest of Ahiara diocese in Imo state, Rev. Fr. Ben Ogu described President Buhari as the greatest corrupt leader who stays aloof while the lives of the people he is supposed to protest are being maimed and massacred.
The cleric blamed President Buhari for not taken serious action against the armed herdsmen over the killings of innocent people over the time, adding that prosecuting them would give Nigerians some measure of trust on their president, instead of his avowed chasing of non-violent Biafra agitators and Avengers who are only fighting for their rights.
His word “I’m also shocked that the President of the nation (Buhari) has not prosecuted anybody yet he is busy pursuing the non-violent agitators of Biafra and the Avengers who are agitating for their rights. It therefore shows that if nothing is done about the whole issue, the people in question have the right to defend themselves and their religion”.
He also condemned the actions of the Catholic Bishops and other church leaders for frequenting the Aso Rock Villa only to go and congratulate President Buhari for fighting corruption while leaving unattended the most pressing issues that concern the lives of their flocks.
According to Fr. Ogu, I expect the church leaders to speak out and follow up by condemning the way their people are being kidnapped and killed by religious jihadist who masked as armed herdsmen.
“Let them stop going to Abuja to congratulate Buhari on the way he is fighting corruption; even when he is involved with the greatest corruption with the lives of the people. They should tell Buhari that it is enough that people are decimated and he is not putting any law or measure across to stop the herdsmen menace”, he said.
He charged the leaders to emulate Jesus Christ who was a good shepherd by given life to the sheep he shepherd, instead of feeling so comfortable and conscious of their own lives as if everything are well with them.
“I see our religious leaders, both catholic bishops and pastors as people who are so comfortable and conscious of their lives that they seem to think that everything is alright when people are suffering on daily basis. They have not spoken enough. In fact they should show some anger”, he stressed.
Ogu reminded the governors of the South east of their constitutional responsibility to defend the lives and property of the people they govern, stressing that if they could not exercise their responsibility the people reserve the right to demand their removal. He however, accused them of complicity, calling on the people to rise up to the occasion to defend themselves and their environment.
“The South East governors are not free from any complicity as their people are massacred and they are comfortable doing nothing about it. They are not fit to stay on seat and watch their people being killed and maimed. The youths of the zone have the right to question their governors and leaders of what they are doing about the situation.
“The security agencies are also to blame as they seem to also taken sides with the herdsmen by closing their eyes and allowing the people to be killed and kidnapped with reckless abandon. I am charging them to show that everybody is so important and needs protection”, he stated.
The cleric commended the likes of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi for making bold their statements on herdsmen by enacting a law against grazing in the state and for calling on authorities to prosecute any herdsman caught with AK47.
He regretted the decision of the Catholic Church to work against the election of former governor of the state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim during the 2011 governorship election over the controversy of “beating” a catholic pirest.
According to him, it is not only me who is regretting, everybody is regretting the government of Imo state today except the sycophants. I think worst things are happening in the state and Igboland now than the harassment of a priest, so we are all regretting this government.
“If they alleged that Ikedi Ohakim beat a priest and now priests are being kidnapped and killed and nothing is happening and worst things than beating a priest are happening in the state and Owerri has been occupied by strange people, why won’t they regret their actions”, he stated.