A threat letter purportedly authored by Fulani jihadists has continued to generate controversy a day after it surfaced in some communities in Asaba, Delta State.
In the unsigned letter, the jihadists on Sunday directed Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, to withdraw his support for the open grazing ban imposed by the 17 Southern governors within 72 hours or the state risked dire consequences.
Reacting on Monday, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), an umbrella body of herders, distanced itself from the letter, blaming it on “mischief-makers”.
The Delta State Police Command also urged the public to disregard the letter, also blaming it on miscreants and mischief-makers.
However, a new militant group, Movement for the Emancipation and Defence of Niger Delta (MEDND) said any attack from the Fulani jihadists would be repelled.
It vowed that its fighters would retaliate should any Deltan be harmed or facility damaged by Northern fanatics posing as herdsmen.
In a Monday statement, MEDND said, “Our attention has been brought to the threat of some herdsmen, who have given a three- day warning to the Governor of Delta State because he supported the ban of open grazing across the southern states.
“We also saw your taking responsibility for an explosion at the secretariat in Asaba. We are warning that if your threat is made to come to fulfilment, no herdsman will ever exist across the Niger Delta and all oil facilities linked to your people will be brought down. If one soul is lost, 10 of your souls will pay for it. If one facility is destroyed, 10 owned by you will be destroyed.
“We will respond proportionately 10 times whatever you give, the corresponding response will not be limited to the Delta, it may be with your politicians or with your rulers.
“We will launch three rocket launchers and ballistic missiles at any facility of our choice as a warning in seven days if you make bold your threats.
“We do not make cheap our threats, we have shut down the country and we can at any time shut you down. We are the Niger Delta, we stand for the interest of the Niger Delta and we will not allow any coward to threaten us. We fight without running.”