Scholar advises Buhari on what to do with Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho, others

June 30, 2021
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A Professor of International Relation and Strategic studies with a special interest in conflict and security studies, Professor Femi Olufunmilade, has warned the federal government to be very careful in the way it handles the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to avoid escalating the agitations currently rocking the country.

In a video message seen by National Daily, Professor Olufunmilade from Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state, advised the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and other aides not to view the re-arrest of Kanu as a thing to gloat or rejoice about.

“Presently, the Nnamdi Kanu they have in custody now is not the same Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of old. The one they have now embodies the hopes and aspirations of thousands of youth from the Southeast, if not millions of people who are ready to follow him to any length.

READ ALSONnamdi Kanu doomed, facing collapsed judicial system – Sowore

“Whether you believe in the logic of the cause he is advocating for or not, the fact remains that he enjoys a huge followership. As far as peace and harmony, particularly in the south eastern part of Nigeria is concerned. So, I will want to plead with the authorities to be magnanimous in victory, victory in court.

“And to go beyond that to see how a window can be open for dialogue. So that whatever the grievances of his followers, you will be able to resolve it amicably. But if you insist on treating him like a terrorist, I’m not sure we are going to see an end to this agitation anytime soon.

According to Prof. Olufunmilade, the crowd Kanu attracts is quite electrifying, is quite magnetic and they are overwhelmingly large, and he doesn’t see them just running back into their cocoon now simply because their leader has been arrested.

“I will advise President Muhammadu Buhari  to use this opportunity to portray his administration as one that can apply what President Obasanjo called the stick and carrot approach by saying now, let us discuss what actually is your problem.

READ ALSOKANU: Archbishop taunts ‘weak’ IPOB leader for succumbing to woman bait

Prof. Olufunmilade explained that if anyone sits in his or her comfort zone and says the agitation will die because they have Kanu, it’s like postponing the evil day.

 “So President Mahammadu Buhari, this is the time for you to put any form of inhibition aside and open the door for dialogue. Don’t let any of your aides, any of your assistants, make this an occasion for passing across provocative messages on social media.

“And I’m not a soothsayer. I’m not a member of IPOB, but I’m a social scientist and an observer of trends in Nigeria, the federal government must tread with caution if it wants a lasting peace.

He said the issue of Boko Haram started because of the shabby way Yusuf was treated and killed when he was arrested, urging the government to use Kanu’s arrest as an open door for dialogue.

He also said the president’s body language when it comes to Miyatti Allah is disturbing, “Herdsmen have committed so many murders, nobody has been taken to court yet for the crimes, rather the government is talking about reclaiming  grazing routes.

READ ALSONnamdi Kanu’s re-arrest: Ohanaeze reveals next line of action

“So in a way federal government recognizes that there are some legitimate claims, and whether the method, the President wanted to use to, to solve their problem is right or wrong, the fact remains that he gave them a hearing, and he spoke in a way that will suit their nerves, why can’t President Buhari do same to all groups agitating?

“ It’s not just IPOB in the East, in Yoruba land you have OPC, and so many other groups that you don’t even know exist. And then in the middle-belt, South-south you have various groups,” he added.

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