- CAN Embarks On 3-Day Fasting, Prayers
Following the threat by an unknown group, ‘Fulani Jihadists’ to attack Delta, monarchs in the state under the auspices of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, have asked communities across the state to beef up security and mobilize local vigilante networks to avert any anticipated attack as contained in the threat letter.
Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Delta State chapter, has embarked on a 3-day fasting and prayer following the threat letter by the faceless Fulani Jihadists to attack the state.
It would be recalled that an unknown group had issued a letter titled ‘Fulani Jihadist Warning: An Open Message of 2 Paragraphs to Delta State’, giving the Delta State governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to pull out of the agreement by the governors of the Southern States to ban open grazing in the southern part of the country. The unsigned letter which was reportedly posted on the fence of Winners Chapel and Government House, Asaba, warned that if the governor fails to denounce the anti-open grazing agreement within 72 hours, it would attack Asaba, the State capital and Agbor, one of the commercial cities in the State.
The letter partly reads: “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, ask the governor of Delta State to immediately withdraw his earlier stand on ban of open grazing in 17 regions in not less than 72 hours from the above date and also withdraw his position as the leading voice of the governors, even before the hosting of the South-South, South-East and South-South governors meeting in Asaba.”
Although the 72-hour ultimatum given by the unknown ‘Fulani Jihadists’, has expired, Delta State royal fathers forum rose from their monthly meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, with a communiqué appealing to residents to be more vigilant and security conscious in view of the threat.
In the four-point communiqué, they condemned the threat in its entirety just as they expressed solidarity with the Southern governors on their position on the ban of open grazing in the Southern states of the country.
The communiqué which was read by the chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, the Obi of Owa kingdom, charged security agencies to handle the threat with the seriousness it deserves, urging them to be fully alert to react appropriately to any eventuality.
It read, “The monarchs urged all communities in Delta State to immediately activate their local security apparatus and be ready and prepared to ward off any form of threat to peace and security in their area.
“Royal fathers tasked security agencies in the state not to treat the purported threat with levity but extend their dragnets to all nooks and crannies of the state with a view to nipping unwholesome activities of criminal elements in the bud.”
The Delta State chapter of CAN however adopted a spiritual approach to ward off any possible attempt by the ‘threatening Fulani Jihadist’, by declaring a 3-day fasting and prayer across the state.
The 3-day fasting and prayer declared by the State chapter of CAN commenced on June 20 and it is scheduled to end on June 22, 2021.
In a letter addressed to heads of blocs, CAN officers, Local Government CAN coordinators and all pastors and bishops, signed by Senior Apostle Sylvanus Okorote, the body directed all the churches to participate in the spiritual activity in order to frustrate any attack.
It also directed churches to make copies of the threat letters and lay same on their altars before God and pray over it on Sunday and Monday.
The letter urged all Christians to attend the Tuesday gathering, and hand over the threat letter which they lay for two nights in their altar to the local government CAN coordinator who would with fathers of faith say the final prayer for Christains’ victory over the plot.
The New Diplomat had earlier reported that the Delta State Police Command had issued a statement assuring residents of the state of their safety and security, adding that the Command had deployed undercover officers to gather intelligence and act proactively.
The statement which was issued by the Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, Bright Edafe, a DSP, stated that: “The attention of the Command has been drawn to a recent publication making rounds purportedly published by the fulani’s of Usman dan fodio leadership tagged “FULANI JIHADIST WARNINGS” and pasted in various locations round Asaba and Agbor to be precise.
“The Command under the watch of CP Ari Muhammed Ali is ever committed in its responsibly of providing security for all Deltans”, urging “members of the public to ignore the said publication which must have been pasted by miscreants with the aim of creating 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.
“Undercover 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.”
Also, the national body of cattle breeders in the country, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, while reacting, distanced itself from the purported 72-hour ultimatum letter, adding that it was the handiwork of mischief makers.
Speaking in a Channels TV programme, the Secretary-General of MACBAN, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, denied the 72-hour ultimatum, saying such a statement made by faceless individuals was only meant to create mischief.
According to him, MACBAN is a responsible association with eminent personalities such as the Sultan of Sokoto as its patron, and as such would never do anything to jeopardize the peace of the country even as it maintained its opposition to the ban on open grazing among the Southern States.