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Open Grazing Ban: Police Reacts To Jihadists’ Ultimatum To Okowa

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A faceless group of “Jihadists” has threatened to attack Asaba, the Delta State capital, should Governor Ifeanyi Okowa not withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing within 72 hours.

In a letter, the group also threatened to attack the Agbor community in Ika South Local Government Area.

The police have dismissed the threat, saying the letter was circulated by miscreants to create fear.

Okowa’s hometown, Owa Alero, is a neighbouring community to Agbor.

The letter, titled: “Fulani jihadist warning: an open message of two-paragraphs to Delta State”, was posted in strategic locations in the state capital, including on the fence of the Living Faith Church along Infant Jesus Road in Asaba.

Governors of the 17 southern states met in Asaba last month and resolved to ban open grazing of cattle in the region.

The unsigned letter reads in part: “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.

“We hereby demand the governor of Delta State to immediately withdraw his stand for the call to ban open grazing in 17 regions in not less than 72 hours from the above date and also, withdraw his position as the leading voice for the governors…

“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 Bornu, Kebbi, Kastina, Kaduna, Enugu, Benue, Oyo and many more that will not respect the Fulani’s heritage…”

The faceless group took responsibility for an explosive rumoured to have been placed at the state secretariat a few weeks ago, saying it should serve as a warning to the state government of what is to come “should the governor fail to abide by our demand”.

“We highly advise all Fulanis 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 the failure of the governor to adhere to our call, shall leave us with no choice,” the letter adds.

The police urged the public to disregard the letter, stressing it was pasted by miscreants to create panic in the state.

The command assured that measures have been put in place to forestall any such occurrence.

Spokesman of the State Police Command Bright Edafe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, in a statement, said: “The Police Command is assuring members of the public to ignore the said publication which must have been pasted by miscreants to create panic in the state.

“All modalities have been put in place to forestall any of such occurrence. All residents are advised to go about their lawful businesses without fear or panic.

“Police operatives have been deployed across the state for the purpose of gathering intelligence. Other proactive measures have been put in place by the command.

“Members of the public are also urged to continue to partner with the police by providing useful information that will help in policing the state.”

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