Former Military Administrator of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (retd), has urged the federal government not to revoke the bail granted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
According to him, effecting Kanu’s re-arrest is both “dangerous and politically unwise.”
Umar, who is also chairman of Movement for Unity and Progress, said that the IPOB leader is not a common criminal as the government appears to think but a bitter young man fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen.
He added that Kanu’s seeming militant approach was the result of the strong arm tactics with which the Federal Government deals with him.
In a statement on Wednesday, Umar described President Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria is a settled issue as a nationalistic wish that was not a surprise having come from a veteran of civil war fought to keep the country one.
He said: “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.
“Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens feel they are getting a fair deal; when all its component parts are treated justly and equitably. When none feels oppressed.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Adeyanju and other similar agitators might seem like felons or even anarchists. But as often happens over humanity’s turbulent history, appearances can be deceitful. One man’s terrorist could well be another man’s freedom fighter.
“In any event, despite what the security agencies might feel, there is nothing to fear from Mazi Kanu. He and his compatriots are people who love their country dearly and are willing to take a risk with their lives while blowing a whistle on some of our bad habits.
“It will be a tragic mistake to treat them as common criminals. It is evident that they are fighting a cause millions consider entirely legitimate.
“Until our democracy learns to accommodate dissent, vigorous, robust, even if inconvenient, it will be incapable of serving our common good.”
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