One of the biggest news making the rounds in the Social and mainstream media in Nigeria today, even in other countries is the arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the indigenous People of Biafra(lPOB), who, how he was arrested in faraway Kenya, and handed over to the Federal government is still unclear. On Thursday, July 1, 2021, also, the DSS ahead of major rally for the Oduduwa nation, which eventually took place in Lagos, on July 4, 2021, stormed the house of the leader of the group, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho in Ibadan, leading to the death of some people and the arrest of scores of Sunday lgboho’s aides, who are at the present in the custody of the DSS. Since that time, Igboho has gone under, while the search for him by security agents is on-going.
What is pathetic however is that, an administration that will last for eight years, has for six years running been enmeshed in all kinds of challenges: Boko Haram, insurgents, banditry, killing and maiming, kidnapping and raping, herders/ farmers clash, open grazing saga, bad economy, secessionist groups, insecurity, unemployment, lopsided employment/ appointment, nepotism, just name it. The body language of the present government under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari surprisingly suggests that, some of these problems may continue, even outlive the administration that will come to a close in 2023, given his stance on some pressing national issues that appear to put the country on the edge.
Yes , the president at various fora had reiterated his commitment to ensure that Nigeria remain as one indivisible and indissoluble country, but the issue here is whether the president is pursuing programmes and policies that would lead to that and guarantee oneness that could bind the country together. The increasing number of agitations in the country, locally and internationally against this regime revealed one thing, which is: all is not well, coupled with the belief that, those who surround the president are playing politics and may not have communicated to him all these while, in clear terms, the mood of the Nigerian people, given the fanfare that heralded his government in 2015.
Just recently, the president pleaded with Niger Delta Avengers to sheath their swords from blowing up oil pipeline again due to marginalization of the area. If they had made good their threat, to cut flow of oil from the source, maybe the Nigeria economy could have suffered yet another great loss apart from the one induced by COVID-19 since it’s only crude oil that sustains the economy. Two weeks ago, we advised the Federal government on this column also to avoid killing a fly with a sledge hammer. In other words, we warned of the danger of descending heavily on those agitating for freedom which is their inalienable right, but instead dialogue with them. The killing of Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram in July 2009, who as a result left the NorthEast and North- West devastated as a result of attacks by his members is equally enough lesson for the present government.
No matter how nicely government officials and politicians across all divides try to paint or present the situation in Nigeria, the simple truth is that this regime is embattled in many fronts and need to change its strategy to salvage the country from imminent collapse. The reason is because, those currently being incarcerated or hunted for, have suddenly become the commanders of the people, while the government is struggling daily to regain its battered image due to unfulfilled campaign promises. The agitation for Yoruba and Biafra nations which had not happened simultaneously before among these two tribes, calls for caution on the part of the government to avoid a repeat of the imbroglio currently rocking the North brought about by Boko Haram terrorists Over time, the Nigerian people especially the youth, through #ENDSARS protest, voiced their grievances over this government and wish things could be done better.
Therefore, the government should walk its talks, and in fact ensure that issue of national interest , necessary for the wellbeing and uplifting of lives of the citizenry, going forward is pursued with vigour. The government should not see itself as a Leviathan but instead the chief servant of the people, whose mandate it rode upon to occupy public offices. Prominent Nigerians and Civil Society Groups are already making case for Nnamdi Kanu who is already in custody and Sunday Igboho, who the Federal government has declared wanted. While we distance ourselves from violent change in the country, we equally warn that, in the present political setting, might is not right and therefore urge the Federal government to tread with caution in handling the separatist elements to save Nigeria from worst situation than what it is today.