IPOB’s cow ban, declaration of war, says ACF as Ohanaeze talks peace

The umbrella organisation of all socio- cultural associations, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has said that Indigenous People of Biafra’s IPOB's banning the singing of the National Anthem and the transportation of livestock to the South-East amounted to a declaration of war.

National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, spoke Thursday, in an interview with reporters in Kaduna.

Yawe spoke against the backdrop of threats by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria to ban movement of foodstuffs from the North to the South-East.
However, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, appealed to the northern traders to shelve the plan.
IPOB, had in its New Year message by its  Director of State, DOS, Chika Edoziem, said only the Biafran anthem should be taught in schools, while announcing the ban on slaughtering of Fulani cows and the recitation of the Nigerian National Anthem in Biafra land.
According to IPOB, only “native cows” would be permitted for consumption in Biafraland.
Apart from IPOB, some churches had also urged their members to use goats and native cows for ceremonies to reduce cases of Fulani herdsmen raping women and girls or killing farmers in their farms. According to the church leaders, Fulani herders bring their cows to the east because high patronage and would reduce their visits for pasturing if there is low patronage for their animals. 

Within the period of the Yuletide, most churches resorted to cash bazaar to reduce incidences of massive patronage of cows and killing and raping of women and young girls by herders. Most people now eat pork meat instead of cow meat.
On Wednesday,  the  Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria expressed its readiness to stop the transportation of livestock and foodstuffs to the South-East.
The  Chairman of Northern Traders, Muhammad Tahir, said members of the association would stop sales of cattle, grains, onions and other foodstuffs in the Southeast.
“For us, we would always support the indivisibility of Nigeria; but if IPOB wants to secede, then so be it.
“Bilateral trade between us and them is all about wealth creation for the two regions; the cattle we take to them is food and not poison.”
However, reacting to IPOB's threat,  the ACF said the order by the was unnecessary as Nigeria was not at war, urging well-meaning Nigerians to call the Biafra agitators to order.
Yawe further said that it would be difficult for the forum to appeal to the union this time around, adding that the fear and concerns of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria were justified following the threat by the IPOB
His words, “We have appealed to this union in the past when their members were attacked and some killed and their property destroyed due to no fault of theirs.
“At that time, they mounted a blockade and stopped the supply of foodstuffs to the East. Prices skyrocketed and there was an outcry. Due to appeals by the ACF, they lifted the blockade.
“The recent actions by IPOB amount to a declaration of war. It is difficult for the ACF to appeal to the union to resume supplies to the East with the pronouncements of the IPOB.
“The concerns of the union and their fears are justified. Somebody should call IPOB to order. We are still one country and not at war. Their pronouncements amount to an open declaration of war.”
On its own, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo regretted that Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria would issue a threat to stop transportation of livestock and foodstuffs to the South-East without getting its (Ohanaeze) position on IPOB’s directive.
Ohanaeze's  Spokesman Chief Alex Ogbonna, who spoke said, “The Igbo are the most out-reaching and adventurous ethnic group in Nigeria. We are welcome in every state in Nigeria by all the ethnic groups and to that extent, we welcome other ethnic groups in Igboland. It is exchange of values; mutual reciprocity. The issue of banning goods for which an ethnic group is known is not acceptable. For example, we have goods for which the Igbo are known and are marketed in other zones in Nigeria, the same way we welcome goods for which other ethnic groups are known and marketed in Igboland.
“So, Ohanaeze Ndigbo,'s philosophy is peace onto all. Is only when we identify any source of conflict we try to manage it but for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in fact, Igbo in general we welcome goods anybody will sell in Igboland.
“Importantly, the people who are acting on what IPOB said, they should know that we have many aspirations in Igboland, but Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the umbrella associations of all the Igbo groups. So efforts should be made to listen to Ohanaeze Ndigbo before some final decisions are taken on issues affecting the entire Igbo.”