A prominent Igbo group, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison any plan to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to avoid plunging the country into more crises.
In a statement made available in Abuja on Monday and signed by its President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala and Secretary, Prof. Nath Aniekwu, the group said that Nigeria is now flooded with many people like Kanu.
The ADF admonished the President to “take it easy and begin by clearing the dangerous debris around him. He needs” God-fearing men around him, the statement said.
Nwala said: “His (Buhari) headache is not Nnamdi Kanu or IPOB or the Igbo nation. It is not even the South-South, the North Central or the West. His headache is how to create an enabling environment for the various nationalities to come together to decide which way Nigeria.
“Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is a prisoner of conscience. Nigeria is now swarming with many people like him. If you incarcerate him again, it will not relieve your headache, it will even explode.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this type of attitude of creating two kinds of citizens: one, those above the law (Arewa youths) and the other, those that will be blackmailed by the punishment of the law even when they commit no offence (IPOB), is one of the things that fuel most of the agitations all over the country.”
While saying that no reasonable person would want to live in a nation with such level of inequity, ADF said that Nigeria has never been as divided as now except during the “genocide against Ndigbo (1967-70).
“Nigeria’s unity is negotiable, that’s all that Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB are pointing at and therefore needs redressing. Nobody is a slave of the other in this country. If there is no law obliterating divorce in Nigeria, it is ironical to think that by mere wishful thinking that Nigeria will remain as it were a model of abusive marriage,” they added.
ADF further decried the handling of the quit notice issued by Arewa youths to Igbo in the northern part of the country and the failure to arrest the youths by the government.
“The Arewa youths had given the Igbo ultimatum to leave Northern Nigeria latest by October 1, 2017. Many people regarded their action as treasonable and a threat of genocide.
“The governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector-General of Police declared that they should be arrested. They were not arrested. Rather what we heard were a series of statements from some Arewa leaders supporting their action. Consequently, the Arewa youths continued in their belligerent threats and mocked the arrest orders,” ADF said.
While noting that President Buhari since his return from the United Kingdom (UK) failed to address the quit notice to Ndigbo nor condemn the virulent Hausa hate songs being circulated and other pressing issues in the country, ADF wondered why the President used his recent speech to declare war on IPOB.