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Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu: The Option For Their Freedom

The call for the freedom of the two separatist group (Yoruba Republic Agitators and IPOB) leaders, Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu is germane to the reduction of tension in the country. It is not the best for the Federal Government to have threatened their lives, pursued them, arrested and have them detained. First, the Federal Government must accept that it is the way and manner they have governed the country since the inception of this democracy that has opened the door for secessionist groups to emerge in the country. Anywhere in the world where any group lives and property are destroyed, feel marginalized, treated unfairly and unjustly, they are bound to ask questions, and that is simply what Igboho and Kanu are doing on behalf of their groups. Their style of protests may not be necessarily right but you do not determine how a child cries when he/she is beaten. It is then the duty of the Federal Government to check and purge itself of all un-seriousness in governance. The art of governance is a serious business that requires those in power to be thinking fast in resolving socio-economic and political upheaval in the country.

The detention of the two separatist leaders indefinitely posits danger for peace, unity and worsens the already security challenges in the country. Nigerian Government cannot afford to be at war same time with allthe regionsof the country. The Nigerian military have been in war with the insurgents in the north east for more than ten years without a major victory recorded. Several billions of dollar pumped into the execution of the war, money that could have been used in developing the country, repairing the battered economy, settling the striking doctors, investing in education and building of social infrastructures. The government must have a rethink on how these issues can better be handled for the overall interest of the country.

Nigeria is suffering from leadership failure, there is nothing absolutely wrong with the country. If the country is well governed by this government and the previous ones before it there would not be any need for people to agitate for a republic of theirs. It is basically because of ill-treatment, injustice and marginalization that agitators have risen in protest. Over the years, the country have been ruined by its leaders. There is no steady power, the roads are death traps, growing unemployment because of unorganized economic climate, moribund industries, looting of the common treasury and poor state of security of lives and property. Nigerian Government has lots to do for Nigeria to stabilize. Nigeria, as it is today is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. A country where politics is now a huge industry producing millionaires overnight cannot survive. A country where state governors, NASS members are in power for years but can only boast of personal achievements is a country waiting for a disaster. Nigeria cannot continue like this, there has to be a change, a reorganization of the old order if this country must remain.

The elders, religious, traditional and political leaders of the two ethnic groups where the separatists hail from must come together and move to initiate dialogue and negotiation with the Federal Government for the release of the secessionist leaders. No amount of threats or violent actions from the groups can make the Federal Government to free their leaders. The option remains a political solution. Again, if Igboho and Kanu remains in detention for too long they will surely not be the same when they are eventually freed. Those shouting and threatening for a showdown with the government if the detention continues do not recognize what it is to be locked up. No government accepts threat. Certainly not, not when they are very much aware that you do not possess the enormous powers of violence against them. The leaders of the two regions can begin the process of dialogue, negotiation and lobbying of the Presidency for the freedom of these two leaders.

We must let these gladiators of war know that, war has never solved problems anywhere in the world and will never. Whenever there is war, it is the children, women and the aged that suffer most. It is on record that those who mouth for war are never found in the war front but the innocent who know nothing are usually used as canon fodders. I was a child all through the Nigeria – Biafra war, I have heard and read different accounts, interviewed those who participated at the top echelon of the Nigeria and Biafra governments during the war, their stories are quite revealing, touching. The Nigerian elders and leaders must sit down with these agitators and dialogue with them on how they can organize themselves and make their demands without necessarily causing pandemonium. We cannot afford to go back to the 1960s.

The Federal Government must not just be heard but be seen to be building unity among the ethnic nationalities of the country. It is the country’s backwardness, lopsidedness and insensitivity of our leaders that has raised suspicion among the components groups in the country. They must accept that fact and embrace dialogue and negotiation with the separatist groups. Dismissing their agitations and attacking members of the two groups is no solution and can never be. Rather, reaching out to the two groups for peaceful resolution will bring back the country. It is not a sign of weakness but of strength. The Federal Government must act fast to restore peace and unity to the peoples of Nigeria. There is a report that some Nigerians living outside the country are sending money to the secessionist groups in support of their agitations, they are doing such for selfish reasons. It is so to give credence to their demand for asylum from the countries they are in. The government through its security agencies can immediately block all funding to such group and insurgents.

We must be guided by history and wisdom at the way we approach issues at all times. Nigeria cannot afford another war hence, every leader must make valuable contributions at ensuring peace and unity, love and progress for our country.


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