South-East women, under the aegis of Igbo Women Assembly, IWA, on Sunday lamented the menace of Fulani herdsmen in the zone.
The women, through a communique signed by Chief Mrs Maria Okwo, the National President of IWA after their meeting in Enugu said they were “extremely troubled at the level of insecurity in our land.”
They stated that “The Fulani cattle rearers have permeated every nook and cranny of South-East causing havoc. They have engaged in kidnapping, maiming, raping women and killing them, as well as killing the owners of the farms after destroying their farm lands.
“IWA calls on the Federal Government to quickly intervene to bring this injustice to a halt as it is unacceptable to us women. We can no longer remain silent while things continue to go awry. We fear that if the trend continues, it might lead to a total breakdown of law and order or even distinction.”
Speaking on the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra, the women group said “recently, our youths of were shot and killed during peaceful demonstrations in Aba and Onitsha. We understand that the youths under reference were not armed; therefore, we consider it as an act of genocide to shoot unarmed people.
“We expected the appropriate authorities to investigate the matter with a view to bringing to book over zealous security men who engage in killing of youths in cold blood.
“It should be understood that in any conflict situation, it is the women who bear the brunt since is their husbands or children who get hurt. We plead with the Federal Government to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra so as to douse the tension and make room for dialogue with credible Igbo leaders and citizens of Biafra. Conflicts are better resolved through dialogue than the barrel of the gun.
“IWA believes that these youths who were not even born during Nigeria/Biafra war feel aggrieved because Ndigbo have been oppressed by successive regimes and denied of their rights.”
They further stated that “Christian girls who are underage are now being abducted and forced to marry Moslems. We aware that freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Parents of these abductees experience severe trauma.
“IWA Commends the efforts of the President Bihari Administration to pursue the fight against corruption and ensure that all those who looted our Treasury and impoverished Nigeria are made to refund the stolen monies and face punishment for this heinous offence. Government should make sure that funds recovered are judiciously spent on important projects.
“IWA has observed that the number of women in the three tiers of Government has drastically reduced. Women are known to be more dedicated and less corrupt, they are also a stabilizing factor. We suggest that more women should be given the opportunity to contribute in building up our nation and help move her to the next level.
“Finally, IWA wishes to state without fear of equivocal that only the restructuring of this county, along the line of TRUE FEDERALISM will bring lasting solution , peace, progress and prosperity to our great Nation and make it truly ‘the giant of Africa’, otherwise the mantra of ‘No Victor no vanquished’ becomes irrelevant.”