Attempt to arrest IPOB leader unwise, says Col. Umar

Former governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd) has advised the Federal Government against re-arresting the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, saying the decision is politically unwise.


Umar who is the chairman, Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), in a statement said Kanu is not a common criminal as the government appears to think but ‘a bitter young man’ fighting for a fairer deal for his kinsmen.

The former governor said Kanu’s militant approach was the result of the strong arm tactics with which the federal government had dealt with him.


Said Umar, “President Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria is a settled issue is a nationalistic wish and is no surprise coming from a veteran of civil war who fought to keep the country one. However, this does not take into account the mood of the nation as indicated by the growing agitations for self-determination, restructuring and many other similar demands.”

He said even if the president was able to ignore and silence the Biafra agitators, it would be a case of suspended animation as all indications were that Nigeria had become so polarized that it required a strong personality like General Buhari to sustain its fragile unity.

He said, “Most Nigerians are convinced of the need to maintain Nigeria’s unity, cognizant of the enormous benefits all sections drive from a large, diverse and resource rich country. The federation also provides a security umbrella to all the federating units which enhance their survivability and prosperity.

“It is difficult to see how any of them can fare better out of the federation. But the fact that there are growing agitations for self-determination, restructuring and other similar demands speak gravely of the way the federation is being governed. Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens feel they are getting a fair deal.”


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