Former governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (retd) has warned the Federal Government not to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, saying doing so would be “dangerous and politically unwise.”
This came as governors of South-East geopolitical zone have resolved to engage the leader and members of IPOB on what the they said was the agitators “absolute demands.”
This is even as the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, took a swipe at the leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, in which he said BIM would no longer recognise Chief John Nnia Nwodo as the leader of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
In a statement issued in Kaduna, Umar said Kanu is not a “common criminal” but a “bitter young man fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen.”
According to the statement, “reports in the media indicate that the Federal Government has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to revoke the bail granted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and have him rearrested.
This is both dangerous and politically unwise. Kanu not a common criminal “Mazi Kanu is not a common criminal as the government appears to think.
On the contrary, he is a bitter young man fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen. His seeming militant approach is the result of the strong arm tactics with which the Federal Government deals with him. His long incarceration before a court granted him bail testifies to this.
“Like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, many Igbo genuinely feel marginalised since they belong to the category of those who gave Mr President only five per cent of their votes and appeared to have fallen out of his favour.
“President Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria is a settled issue is a nationalistic wish and is no surprise coming from a veteran of civil war fought to keep the country one.
However, this does not take into account the mood of the nation as indicated by the growing agitations for self determination, restructuring and many other similar demands. “If indeed the President is able to ignore and silence those agitators, it will be a case of suspended animation.
All indications are that Nigeria has become so polarized that it requires a strong personality like General Buhari to sustain its fragile unity.
Needless to say that this does not bode well for the survival of the nation. “Most Nigerians are convinced of the need to maintain Nigeria’s unity, cognisant of the enormous benefits all sections drive from a large, diverse and resource rich country.
The federation also provides a security umbrella to all the federating units, which enhance their survivability and prosperity. It is difficult to see how any of them can fare better out of the federation. “But the fact that there are growing agitations for self determination, restructuring and other similar demands speak gravely of the way the federation is being governed.
Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens feel they are getting a fair deal; when all its component parts are treated justly and equitably. When none feels oppressed.