The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has said traditional rulers in Igbo land should be held responsible for the killings of Ndigbo by marauding Fulani herdsmen.
MASSOB Director of Information, Mr Sunday Okereafor, accused the traditional rulers of keeping silent while herdsmen continued to kill the people of the South-East.
Okereafor, who was reacting to the recent killing of a farmer in Obudi Agwa in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, added that some communities in Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra had suffered a similar fate in the past.
Speaking on the telephone on Wednesday, Okereafor accused the monarchs of collecting N100,000 monthly stipends from the Federal Government, adding that the situation has forced the ezes to keep silent in the face of killings by marauding Fulani herdsmen.
Okereafor said, “In some communities in Igboland, a monarch will sit on his throne and a Fulani man will come with his cattle and pass through the palace of the traditional ruler. But they (ezes) will not make any comment because they have compromised.
“You can imagine (the monarchs) allowing the Fulani herdsmen to stay in his backyard in the bush; doing what? But we are telling the ezes and the governors that we are aware of what is going on and their days are numbered.”
But the traditional ruler of Ishiala Umudi in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Joel Udenkwo, dismissed MASSOB’s claim.
Eze Udenko said no Igbo traditional ruler was collecting N100,000 from the Federal Government with a view to allowing herdsmen with their herds into their communities.
“The claim (that monarchs in Igbo land collect N100,000 from FG) should be discountenanced,” the traditional ruler said.
He also said that as custodian of Igbo culture and tradition, it was unacceptable that monarchs would compromise the security of their communities for financial gratification.
(Chukwudi Akasike and Gibson Achonu, Punch)