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Air Force Denies Providing Support for Herdsmen in Enugu State

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has refuted reports that its helicopters were used to drop weapons for herdsmen in the Akwukwe Community forest in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, The Guardian reports.

NAF’S Acting Command Public Relations and Information Officer, Headquarters Ground Training Command, Enugu, Ft Lieut. Faith Aigbeoghain in a statement yesterday, said the allegation was not true.

Enugu residents were thrown into panic since the weekend following reports that NAF helicopters, which had hovered around the city for some time, were sighted dropping weapons at a Fulani settlement in Akwukwe. Originators of the reports were circulating pictures of the helicopters flying at low levels in the forest area and asked residents to be cautious.

But Aigbeoghain, who refuted the reports, said the story was deliberately concocted to cause disaffection and panic among in Enugu and the entire region.The statement urged the people of Enugu State to disregard the claims, remain calm and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation from any individuals or groups.

Besides, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) yesterday said calls by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for a vigilante group in the Southeast to protect its members was not necessary, as such vigilante have always existed for decades in the zone.

The group’s reaction followed MACBAN’s demand for a vigilante group in the zone at a recent security summit in Enugu convened by the Southeast Governor’s Forum, saying such vigilante were already in existence in the zone albeit unofficially.The statement issued by OYC President General, Okechukwu Isoguzoro, noted that most houses ad streets in the zone employ Northerners as security personnel, insisting that the practice has already become a security threat to the region and should be discontinued forthwith.

Also, the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, a coalition of professionals of Igbo extraction in Nigeria and the Diaspora has condemned the call by MACBAN to establish Fulani Vigilante outfit in the South East.In a statement issued by its President and Secretary, Tochukwu Ezeoke and Lawrence Nwobu, it condemned and denounced what it described a reckless and provocative call by Miyetti Allah.

It cautioned that any attempt to export the vicious and violent Fulani Militia to any part of Igboland “shall be fiercely resisted from high and low quarters.”

Meanwhile, troops of 26 Brigade Garrison, Nigerian Army have killed two terrorists in an ambush at Wala village along Pulka-Gwoza road in Borno state.

The insurgents were neutralised, while soldiers were escorting commuters and traders along the road on Saturday.In a statement in Maiduguri yesterday, Army Spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, disclosed that the troops had a fierce encounter with terrorists’ ambush team craving for food and other essentials for survival.


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