Palpable fear has gripped residents of Delta state following threats of invasion and bombing of the state capital Asaba.
The threat was reportedly made by a “Fulani jihadist” group. The group also threatened to bomb Agbor, which serves as the headquarters of Ika South local government area of the state.
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 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.
The threat letter carrying pictures of members of the terrorist group Boko Haram, dated June 13, 2021, read in part:
“This is to inform Delta state that the Fulanis 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 early 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, as no occurrence we don’t have the first-hand information, even before the hosting of the South-South, South-East and South-West governors meeting in Asaba.
“Failure to adhere to this demand, 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, as we take responsibility for the detonate explosive uncovered in the state capital secretariat, which should serve as a warning to the Delta State Government for 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, this shall leave us with no choice.
“Therefore, Deltans, be told, be informed, be prepared.”
Commissioner of Police, Ari Muhammed Ali, has, however, assured residents that all modalities had been put in place to forestall any such occurrence.