By Steve Oko
The kinsmen of the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have said that arresting their son would not in any way bring solutions to the multi-faceted problem of the country.
Just as they also said that killing him would not stop the growing agitation for the restoration of Biafra republic.
The immediate-past President General of Isiama Afaraukwu community, Kanu’s hometown, Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze, who spoke with SATURDAY VANGUARD in Umuahia, said that the news of Kanu’s re-arrest and repatriation came to them as “a shock”.
He said it was still a puzzle to the community how Kanu who is a British citizen would be arrested and repatriated without following the rule of law.
“ Where and how was he arrested? Was there a legal process? Was he arrested or abducted? These are some of the pertinent questions the Nigeria Government should be ready to answer.”
Chief Ndubueze who is a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, advised the federal government not to be confrontational but to be engaging in dealing with Kanu and the Biafra agitation.
He advised the Government to use this opportunity to engage Kanu for dialogue with a view to finding lasting solution to the “issues he is raising”.
“This is the time for the federal government to put everything on table. It’s time for discussion with all the parties.
“Nnamdi has not been asking for his personal welfare; his agitation is for the freedom of Biafra and against marginalisation of Ndigbo.
“The federal government should consider his agitation. He is not fighting for himself; he is fighting for the freedom of his people.
“Government should stop pretending; if Nigeria was going well, do you think that the #EndSARS protests would have held? That was a signal that there is disenchantment in the land, and the earlier Government admits this obvious fact the better for all.”
Chief Ndubueze wondered why bandits and terrorists rampaging communities across the country had not been crushed “since Nigeria has the capacity to track and arrest Kanu in a foreign country.”
“ Why didn’t they put in the efforts they made in arresting Kanu to arrest Shekau, the Boko Haram Leader that terrorized the country for years? Why are they not arresting the bandits killings farmers across the country?”
The APC chieftain argued that the proscription of IPOB and its subsequent designation as a terrorist organization were political.
He also accused the federal government of making the IPOB leader popular, advising Government to rather engage him instead of persecuting him.
“You can’t proscribe a group that was only agitating with flags calling for referendum to determine their fate. Civil agitation is not a crime but fundamental human right.
“It’s the federal government that is making Nnamdi popular. The first time they arrested him was when they made him popular.
“This second time, they have turned the attention of the whole world on him again. Is it not better they listen to him and address the issue causing this agitation once and for all?”
Kanu’s kinsman who said that the community would meet over the weekend to review issues on his re-arrest, called on Ndigbo to rally round him and speak with one voice.
“This is the time for Ndigbo to be united and speak with one voice. It’s not a time for blame games. This is not the time for individuals to go to Aso Rock and seek their personal interest.
“I’m of the APC but it’s time for us as a race to voice out what we want. Why is Government not listening to see if there is sense in the agitation championed by Nnamdi?
“We can only have one Nigeria when there is justice and equity. Nigeria can only be one when everybody is happy and given a sense of belonging. Have we paused to ask if the lopsidedness in political appointments is uniting or causing division in the country?”
The APC chieftain further appealed to President Muhamnadu Buhari to also consider amnesty for all Biafra agitators and IPOB members in security nets as being currently granted to purported repentant terrorists and bandits.
“If a known terrorist will be forgiven and rehabilitated, and some of them absorbed into the security agencies, there is nothing wrong if amnesty is also given to IPOB members”.
He advised the federal government not to mishandle Kanu’s matter but use this opportunity to heal the country in the interest of all.