By Stephen Ubanna
Not many people happy are happy that President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General and his security operatives had been on the trail of Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed Leader of the indigenous of Biafra, IPOB, over thlast two years which had resulted in his capture on Sunday, May 26, 2021,outside the shores of the country and flown back to face his trial.
One of such people was Nyesom Wike, a strong pillar of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and governor of the oil Rivers state, south-south Nigeria geo-political region. Wike’s anger was that the Katsina state born Nigerian President and his security Operatives could run after the 53 year-old Kanu, Biafra agitator, both within and outside the country , leaving out the Leaders of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group BokoHaram, Islamic state of West Africa, ISWAP, causing problems in in the north east states of Borno and Yobe, particular, and the Leaders of the Bandits operating in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and the north central state of Niger. He also cited Myetti Allah, another notorious group, which had been linked to killings in different parts of the country, particular, Benue state and whose Leaders ‘’are roaming wild and free’’, across the country.
Appearing on Channels Television,’’ Politics today’’, the outspoken Rivers governor, who could not hide his feelings has asked the Nigerian President and his security Operatives that for Justice to be they must ‘’endeavor to go after the heads of these other notorious organisations and associations in the north and arrest them in order to bring them book’’. He maintained that that they should be brought to Justice the same way the IPOB Leader is facing trial at the moment.
He noted that failure to arrest the Heads of the other notorious organisations and associations , including Myetti Allah, will suggest that the arrest of Kanu is targeted at a section of the country by the Buhari led All Progressive Congress , APC, led government which is the south east geo-political region. Putting on the garb of a Lawyer, he said ‘’it will breed issues over justice and debates regarding marginalization’’.
Another person who had unbarred his mind about the arrest of the IPOB Leader was Samuel Ortom , a former minister of State, Trade and Investment , during Good Jonathan Presidency and governor of Benue state.
Although he had said that he has no problem with the arrest of the Biafra secessionist Campaigner, but ”the fight against terrorism and other crimes would only be seen to be unbiased if armed herders who have been killing innocent Nigerians are also apprehended and taken to Court to account for their action.
He had alluded to the retired army General recent comment that herdsmen occupying the Nigerian forests, particular, in the north are are not Nigerians. Many believe that they are from Niger and other countries in the Sahel region. Given that that they are not Nigerians, Ortom ”wondered why no effort had been made by Buhar and his security operatives to bring these herders to book when the very citizens he has pledged to defend , when he assumed office in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, are now victims and in various Internally Displced Peples, IDPs, camps in the country.
But Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture had said that the retired army Gebneral led APC, government which t had been ‘’on the trail of Kanu while on the run outside the shores of the country over the last two years was informed by the fact that he had challenged ’’the sovereignty of the country with his Local and Foreign Collaborators’’ .
Mohammed may have spoken the mind of the Nigerian President when he ‘’commended the Professionalism and Patriotism of the Nigerian security and intelligence agencies personnel and their international security agencies Collaborators involved in the operations’’. The minister who had declined to respond to questions on the particular, country where the operations to arrest the IPOB Leader took place at a recent press briefing had said that his re-arrest was ‘’made possible by the diligent efforts of the country security and intelligence agencies personnel , in Collaboration with countries with which the nation have obligations’’.
The minister who may have sent a message to those that were said to be sponsoring the igbo secessionist group had declared that ‘’none of the Collaborators, irrespective of their standing in the society would be spared’’.
According to him,’’ why the Kanu loyalists were busy killing security operatives and destroying national assets in the south east states, of Enugu, Eboyi, Abia, Anambra and Imo, Kanu lived a life of luxury across the several countries he had stayed, travelling on Chartered private Jets, living in luxury apartments and wearing designer clothes and shoes’’.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he revealed that the IPOB lEader was wearing ‘’an attire made by Fendi, , a Luxury Italian fashion brand when he was arrested by security operatives in an undisclosed country, meaning that Kanu , has made so much money in his Biafra Campaign from foreign donors. He had said that ‘’the forensic investigation carried out so far’’ on the embattled Kanu had revealed ‘’a treasure trove of information on the proscribe IPOB Leader and his Collaborators who would be fished out to face the full wrath of the Law over their illegal activities to disintegrate the country.
Until his rearrest outside the shores of the Nigeria last Sunday, an elated Mohammed had said the Igbo activist was facing an 11-count charge ‘’ of treasonable felony, terrorism, illegal possession of firearms among others’’. Prior to his escape from Nigeria to Israel in 2017, when the military had ivaded his Affara –Ukwu home, near Umuhaia, Capital of Abia state, he had told close associates that his life was under threat for Campaigning for the actualization of the Republic of Biafra. He may have taken advantage of his escape from the country to junket round the globe to drum support for Biafara.
There are fears in unofficial circles that he may not be granted fair hearing in Court this time around for jumping bail in 2017. Mohammed, the minister of information and Culture had said that there was no need for pundits to worry about his trial not going to follow due process of Law.
He was said to have assured the International Community who were said to be interested in the Kanu trial, including the UK, that h ‘’will be given a fair hearing’’, notwithstanding his threat on the unity of the country. He insists that ‘’the fair deal that the IPOB Leader had denied many of the victims of the violence in the south east which he had willfully instigated through his broadcasts and tweets will not be denied him’’.
In a related development, Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-cultural Organisation fears that with the high level of insecurity in the country, Nigeria is gradually going back towards the sad days of the Late General Sani Abacha regime where people’s homes were attacked indiscriminately by security agencies personnel.The Yoruba socio-cultural group may have been forced to speak out following the recent attack on the residence of Sunday Adeyemo, popular, Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba activist.
The aggrieved Leadership of the Yoruba socio-cultural group had said that the attack on Igboho’s residence by agents of the state was ‘’a bad indicator that country is fast returning to the era of the Abacha ea whereby anyone who expressed opinions contrary to the government’s position would be fatally attacked’’. The group had said that the attack on the activist’s house clearly shows that the government of the retired army General has a hand in the attack on the Odu’a nation Campaigner in order to silence him and his loyalysts.
The Group may have jumped into that conclusion of the culpability of those in Authority based on the eyewitness accounts that ‘’ the vehicles and uniforms of the attackers were branded.They had said that the failure of the Force, under the close watch of Usman Alkali Baba, to confront the attackers even when they were alert by close neighbours, further implicated the Buhari led APC, government.
The Value learnt that the attack on the activist’s residence had lasted for more than three hours. The worry of many was that, Igboho’s residence, where the attackers had invaded was a few minutes- drive from a police stations around the area, fueling speculations making the rounds that the security operatives , including the Department of State Security, DSSS, knows about the plot to attack the Igboho’s residence. This may have informed why people have accused the government of its complicit in the attack.
Note that the Igboho, the Yoruba, activist, had been in the forefront of agitations to have a Yoruba nation just asKanu, the acclaimed Leader of IPOB, who had been rearrested in an undisclosed location outside the shores of the country, had been at the forefront for the agitation for the Republic of Biafra. T Afeniere, the Pan-Yoruba Organisation had warned that ‘’a total stop must be put on the unprovoked attacks on the innocent citizens in the county’ to avoid throwing the country into unmitigated disaster.’
Informed sources told The Magazine that the activist’s residence may have been attacked when information filtered out of his plans to mobilise his loyalists to hold a rally in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre to further canvass for a Yoruba nation on Saturday, July 3, 2021. Two persons were said to have killed during the attack.The DSS, personnel , may have confirmed the fear of people that the government had a hand in the attack when it said a Team of joint security operatives raided the home of Igboho, in Ibadam, and arrested 13 of his armed men.
Given an insider information of the raid on the activist residence, Peter Afunanya, the spokesperson of the security agency said the attack was based on intelligence that Igboho was stockpiling arms to cause chaos within the south west geopolitical region. Afunanya, had said that when they approached the house, they were attacked by nine of his loyalists who engaged them in gun battle but were overpowered. He confirmed that two of the Igbo’s men were killed in the shoot-out while a security operative sustained injury.
The attack on Igboho’s residence by security operatives and the arrest of Kanu, the IPOB, Leaders was a lear message to ethnic nations agitators, that the Buhari Aministration is ready to hunt down any person identified to be championing the creation of another country of Nigeria. This may have informed why he DSS personnel at the Ibadan office had asked the Yoruba Odu’a nation Campaigner to‘’turn himself or be tracked down’’, in his hideout. Recall that the Nigerian President had repeatedly said that ‘’Nigeria unity is Negotiable’’, meaning that he is prepared to crush secessionist agitators from any part f the country.