Tuesday, December 7

Be suspicious of those advising you to ignore Biafra issue – Soludo tells Buhari

Anambra State Governor-elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has advised President Mohammadu Buhari to be wary of those who advise him to dismiss the Biafra issue, saying such persons did not mean well for the country.

He also called for immediate release of leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, arguing that his continued detention would further aggravate the problem.

Speaking during a book launch, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said Buhari succeeded in popularizing Kanu going by the way the agitation was handled.

He said, “Nigeria has wittingly or unwittingly dragged the Biafran issue from the periphery to the mainstream discussion. Nnamdi Kanu in my view threw a bait and Nigeria grabbed it.
Today he’s the most popular political prisoner and will end up either a hero or a martyre. But to his credit, he’s forced Nigeria and the entire world to discuss Biafra.

“I believe that keeping him there doesn’t do Nigeria any good. I believe this young man should be released and released like yesterday. I will not be surprised if he becomes the subject of debate in the next political campaign and just like we dealt with Awolowo who was convicted and imprisoned for treason or Gowon charged with treason or even Ojukwu that was forgiven and so on.

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“I don’t want to make any prediction but I believe we need to solve this because according to Ofodile in this book, “If there’s any lesson for anyone who cares to listen, is that the detention of Nnamdi Kanu, no matter how long will not stop Biafra agitation. “

Soludo argued that the detention of Uwazuruike between 2005 and 2007 helped to radicalize his followers. The same thing happened when leader of Boko Haram was killed. His followers became more radicalized.

He added, “I never heard of Kanu before this time, neither did I hear about IPOB until now and globally, it became a mainstream discussion. The Kanu’s philosophy resonates across the length and breadth of the Igbo land.

“Therefore, there can’t be a solution to the Biafra issue without the engagement of Kanu and Uche Mefor faction of IPOB. So if I were the president, I’ll be very suspicious of anyone who advises me to ignore the Biafra issue. I’ll be suspicious with anyone who says he’s either ignorant or being mischievous or patently doesn’t mean well for the government.

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“Probably, the government wants to repeat the same mistake of the past which will lead it down the drain. We must start this discussion. Where are the Igbo elites and intelligentsia in all of these, because the book suggest that this move is being driven by Igbos in diaspora. While the ones within are divided.

“The other day, the IPOB called for sit-at-home and without any enforcement, the entire Southeast was completely shut down. That tells you there’s something going on. What’s missing is structural debate and elites aloofness, complicity or hypocrisy.

“For politicians who think they can use them for their selfish gains, I tell you that you’re creating a monster that will consume you when the venom comes. Those guys are not fools, they will see you as enemy and saboteurs.”

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