Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu
Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu

Use of force on agitators won’t work– Igbo group tells Buhari

An Igbo elite body, Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has cautioned the Muhammadu Buhari government against the continuous use of force against people seeking to break away from Nigeria, saying coercion has never worked anywhere in the world.

“The use of force to deal with those fighting for self-determination has never worked anywhere in the world,” ADF said, according to Vanguard.

“You can use force to delay the movement of a determined group who want their autonomy in an oppressive federation such as Nigeria, but ultimately the people will someday attain their inalienable right to self-determination.

“The best way to solve the problem is to engage the agitators through dialogue and diplomacy. In South Africa, the apartheid regime was defeated by the African National Congress. In the Soviet Union, state power was defeated to usher in the independence of 15 autonomous republics. The same thing happened in the old Yugoslavia from where six new nation-states emerged.

“Some elements from other mega ethnic-nationalities such as the Igbo and Yoruba felt that the time has come to assert their own right to self-determination.

“The UN in 2007 passed a resolution affirming the rights of ethnic nationalities to exercise their rights to Self-determination”, ADF said in a statement by its spokesman Chief Abia Onyike.”

Kanu, who was based in the United Kingdom, was recently hastily extradited from a foreign country. He has been detained in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) and is facing terrorism-related charges before Justice Binta Nyako at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

On the other hand, the secret police raided Igboho’s Ibadan residence in July, killed at least two of his associates and arrested 12 of them. The DSS declared Igboho wanted after he narrowly escaped the raid. He was, however, intercepted at an airport in Benin Republic while he tried to catch a flight to Germany. The agitator has spent about weeks in a Beninese custodial facility.

Many Nigerians have constantly lampooned the Buhari administration for allegedly sparing bandits and terrorists on the rampage in the northern part of the country while security forces clamp down on Igboho, Kanu and other separatists.