Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militant arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) have reportedly stormed forests in Delta State to begin the enforcement of the government’s anti-open grazing law.
SaharaReporters obtained a video where some of masked gunmen, believed to be ESN fighters, were shooting at cows reportedly wandering on farmlands.
It is not clear yet in which part of Delta State the incident happened.
Sources stated that the ESN fighters were also in Delta State over the threat issued through an anonymous letter written by killer herdsmen to the government.
SaharaReporters had on June 14 reported that President Muhammadu Buhari was not contemplating sending more troops as reinforcement to Delta State to quell the suspected Fulani jihadist threats, according to sources at the Defence Headquarters.
Two officers at the DHQ Abuja had told SaharaReporters that despite the fact that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, comes from Delta State, only Buhari, as Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, could direct the troops to move into Delta and secure the strategic locations in the face of the alarming threats.
It was learnt that the Federal Government could leave the threats to only the police, as military action by the Buhari government against the Fulani herdsmen is rare in southern Nigeria.
“The CDS is from Aliokpu Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, which is the epicenter of the jihadist warning. The governor might have called and discussed with him too. But the express directive to deploy troops to the state has to come from the C-in-C.
“So, the CDS has to tread carefully between safeguarding his home state and the body language of the presidency. But for now, there is no directive to the DHQ from the Villa to deploy more troops or act on Delta State, 24 hours after the threats are going viral,” one of the top sources had stated.
SaharaReporters two Sundays ago reported that palpable fear had gripped residents of Delta State following threats of invasion and bombing of the state capital, Asaba and Agbor, headquarters of Ika South Local Government Area of the state by a faceless 'Fulani Jihadist' group.
The group, which claimed responsibility for the fire incident that gutted the Federal Secretariat complex along Okpanam road, Asaba, warned Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to immediately withdraw his stand and support for the banning of open grazing in a recent southern governors meeting held in May and hosted by Okowa in government house, Asaba.
In an unsigned threat letter titled 'Fulani Jihadist Warnings!!!: An Open Message of 2 Paragraphs to Delta State' pasted in strategic places across the state capital and Agbor on Sunday, the faceless group warned Governor Ifeanyi Okowa against any failure to adhere to their demand for his withdrawal from the ban on open grazing within 72 hours, it would invade Asaba and Agbor.