Since the arrest of Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of pirate, foreign-based Radio Biafra, youths have been staging daily protests for his release in many cities of the South East and South-South. The agitators, under the platforms of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are also calling for the granting of their demand for a separate country called Biafra.
Though the demonstrations have remained peaceful, they appear to be gathering traction, as more and more youths are joining, with the risk that matters could boil over and threaten the peace and stability of the country.
We call on all concerned to exercise caution and ensure that we do not get into yet another security mess. The country has just recovered from the militancy in the Niger Delta, which ended when the government of the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua packaged a comprehensive amnesty deal for repentant militants. We are yet to fully overcome the threat to the stability of the country posed by the Boko Haram Islamist terrorists in northern Nigeria. We cannot afford to add to it another uprising, this time from the South East.
We call on the Biafra agitators to jettison the idea of compromising the unity and territorial integrity of Nigeria. Igbo leaders should rein in their angry youth and persuade them to seek solutions within the Nigerian platform which belongs to all of us. The Biafra issue was settled forty five years ago when the nation successfully reasserted the indivisibility of Nigeria. We do not want a re-enactment of that sad chapter which occasioned massive loss of lives and property and brought untold pain and misery to millions of our countrymen, women and children.
We believe that the complaint of marginalisation, which is often used to justify the call for secession, can be addressed through the political process, good governance and good leadership. The funny thing about the cry of marginalisation is that virtually every group in the country is complaining. This is why we have so many national and constitutional conferences, in the last 38 years. Perhaps, it is time for us to start implementing some of the resolutions from these confabs to enhance greater citizen participation in their own affairs.
We must devolve more political and economic power to the people and ensure justice and fair play in the distribution of the political and economic resources of the country. We must eliminate all sources of injustice, create more opportunities for the full employment of the youth and make all Nigerians happy and proud of their country. (Vanguard)