President Muhammadu Buhari is not contemplating sending more troops as reinforcement to Delta State to quell the suspected Fulani jihadists' threats as no directive has been received by the Defence Headquarters, military sources told SaharaReporters on Monday.
Two officers at the DHQ Abuja told SaharaReporters that although 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 epicentre 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 stated.
SaharaReporters on Sunday 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 that he should withdraw 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, sighted by SaharaReporters, had 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."