Open Grazing Ban: Threat Letter From ‘Fulani Jihadists’ Causes Tension In Delta

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A threat letter supposedly authored by Fulani jihadists on Sunday threw residents of Asaba, Delta State into confusion.

The Fulani jihadists were said to have written the letter to demand the immediate reversal of the enforcement of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the state.

The letter was pasted in some parts of the city, including the premises of Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel), Infant Jesus Road in Asaba.

In the letter, which was unsigned, the ‘Fulani jihadists’ vowed dire consequences if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa did not withdraw support for the ban on open grazing in the Southern part of the country.

The letter titled, “Fulani Jihadist Warning: An Open Message Of 2 Paragraphs To Delta State” read, “This is to inform Delta state that the Fulani’s of Usman dan fodio leadership, shall do everything it can to uphold the legacy of our heritage of open grazing for we are nomadic people from origination and shall never negotiate the ownership of Nigeria and West Africa and Sub-Sahara.

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“We hereby demand the Governor of Delta state to immediately withdraw his early stand for the call to ban open grazing in 17 regions in not less than 72hours from the above date and also, withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors, as no occurrence we don’t have the first-hand information, even before the hosting of the South-south. South-East and South-South governors meeting in Asaba.

“Failure to adhere to this demand for being the host of the 17 governors, Delta state, most likely the city of Asaba and Agbor, shall encounter severe consequences than that of Borneo, Kebbi, Kastina, Kaduna, Enugu, Benue, Oyo and many more that will not respect the Fulani’s heritage, as we take responsibility for the detonated explosive uncovered in the state capital secretariat, which should serve as warning to the Delta state government for what is to come, should the governor fail to abide by our demand.

“We highly advice all Fulani’s and Northerners, including the security personnel to leave Delta state as soon as possible for the wind of our action is now present in the land, for failure of the governor to adhere to our call, this shall leave us with no choice.”

In May, the 17 Southern governors unanimously banned open grazing of cattle in the region.

However, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN kicked against the action, saying it violated the herdsmen’s rights of free movement.

On June 10, President Muhammadu Buhari directed Malami to commence the process of reviving cattle grazing routes and grazing areas in the country.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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