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You Cannot Defeat An Ideology with Guns and Bombs, Political solution on Kanu, Igboho must be quick, SANs tell FG

 You Cannot Defeat An Ideology with Guns and Bombs, Political solution on Kanu, Igboho must be quick, SANs tell FG Three Senior Advocates of...

 You Cannot Defeat An Ideology with Guns and Bombs, Political solution on Kanu, Igboho must be quick, SANs tell FG

Three Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Femi Falana, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, and Ifedayo Adedipe – have asked the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to quickly set in motion, dialogue process with the various secessionist groups and arrowheads in the country.

In separate interviews with The PUNCH, the senior advocates said the Federal Government does not have an option but to dialogue with the separatists.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) had said the government won’t rule out a political solution to resolve the crisis surrounding separatist agitations in Nigeria.

Growing dissatisfaction, disaffection, and perceived injustice have fueled secessionist agitations in Southern Nigeria of late. While Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho is an arrowhead of Yoruba Nation in the South-West, embattled Nnamdi Kanu leads, the Indigenous People of Biafra in the South-East.

Kanu, who has been in the custody of the Department of States Service since he was re-arrested from a foreign country in June 2021, is facing terrorism and treasonable charges before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

On the other hand, Igboho, whose Ibadan home was raided on July 1, 2021, around 1am, has been in a Beninese detention facility since July 19, 2021. The agitator was arrested while he tried to escape to Germany after he was declared wanted by the secret police. He was reportedly arrested by the Interpol at the Cotonou airport at the behest of the Buhari government.

When asked whether the Buhari government was considering political solution to resolve the secessionist agitation in the country, Malami had said, “As far as the security situation is concerned and as far as governance and this administration is concerned, you cannot rule out all possibilities. But crime is a crime; there are criminal undertones associated with certain conducts, you cannot away the rights of the government to take steps with particular regards to ensuring that the people are brought to book.” 

Reacting in an interview with our correspondent, Falana said the government has no option that to employ political solution to solve the challenges.

Falana said, “That (political solution) has been the demand of many concerned citizens and the government has to speed up that process because the government has no choice but to embark on political solution because outright force cannot win the battle.

“It is the battle of the mind, an ideological battle. If a group of young people say, ‘We are frustrated with the mismanagement of the resources of the country’, we want to break away. What is required of the government is to try and woo them back to convince them to continue to repose confidence in the corporate existence of Nigeria and that campaign can only be won if there is an assurance that justice will be done to all manners of people in the country.”

On his part, Adegboruwa “believe that this (political solution) should have been the focus of government in adopting rules of engagement with people and organisations that are agitating for self-determination, rather than criminalising this movement.

“I would rather say that it is coming later after the Federal Government has pushed the leaders of these movements into the shadows. The engagement should have come first and when that fails, you talk about other options.

“You don’t label somebody a terrorist or a criminal when people have been killed in their homes during the invasions and then you are taunting them with engagement. Government should not be the one to promote tension and violence. It is rather to always be the first to extend the olive branch.”

Also, Adedipe said dialogue was the way to go and not highhandedness by the government.

He said, “That is a welcome suggestion from him (Malami). That will lower the political temperature of the country because all we need to do is find out why are people agitating and what they need to do to reduce the tension. If the government decides to speak with the persons involved, that will be a welcome development. It is better than a situation where the government is using highhanded tactics and refusing to listen to other people’s opinions.

“This constitution we are condemning now was the constitution (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo used, it was the constitution (the late ex-President Umaru) Yaradua used. It was because this (Buhari) government has a mindset in which it sees itself as a different and separate from some people and acting along that line that we are having these challenges,” Adedipe added.

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