By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
The traditional ruler of Ezeleke Autonomous Community in Umuahia North LGA of Abia state, Eze Godfrey Ibekanma, says his community is under serious threat by the activities of Fulani herdsmen, who stray into people’s homes and farmlands, destroying their farms and molesting women and children unhindered.
He noted that despite all efforts he made by reporting the matter to the police and after writting to the federal government, nothing was achieved.
Ibekanma further expressed his frustrations with the manner federal government was handling the Miyetti Allah Association of Nigeria. According to him, rather than tackling the organisation over the spate of killings and destruction of lives and properties in parts of the country, the Buhari administration was rather trying to placate and compensate them.
He revealed that Miyetti Allah is almost the 4th tier of government under Buhari’s administration, adding that the only difference is that the constitution does not recognise them.
“Miyetti Allah is the only group in Nigeria whose negative influence makes almost 200 million Nigerians shiver. As I speak, the government is consulting with them. A group tagged as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the country is what the federal government is pampering”.
He decried the high rate of crime in the country, noting that the north, which used to be peaceful before now, is experiencing high rate of crime from Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to over haul the security heads in the country in order to checkmate the worsening situation, while calling for the fortification of the police to enable them face the current challenges across the country. He urged that military personnel should be restricted to war zones which they are trained for, and be deployed more to fighting Boko Haram and banditry.
The traditional ruler, who also decried the rate of unemployment among the youths and dearth of companies and industries across the country, noted that most graduates, because of unemployment, have taken to crime such as internet fraud, kidnapping and robbery; while he called on both state and federal governments to do something on employment.
He urged state government to cut down on their expenses and pay the N30,000 minimum wage.
Eze Ibeakanma also used the occasion to plead with Abia government to pay workers, especially pensioners and parastatals, who are owned several months’ arrears.
He revealed that Ekpe festival, which, according to him, was inherited from their forefathers, is celebrated within the first quarter of every year, adding that over the years, the festival have been refined to meet the Christian faith where they also stop the use of dangerous weapons in molesting people.