Gen. Muhammadu Buhari,
Commander-in-Chief of The Armed Forces,
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
ABORTING A WAITING CATASTROPHE
I have discussed this matter at some informal fora with friends. I had to battle with the idea of whether or not to make public my candid thoughts on a particular disturbing national issue. I refer to no other than the discriminatory posturing of the nation's military and law enforcement agencies in dealing with issues connected with pro Biafra agitators. I cannot begin here to recite the numerous instances of abuse of fundamental rights, flagrant disobedience of court judgments, etc. No.
These acts are self evident. I call your attention here because when such acts are committed and no investigation is conducted, no one is arrested and no one is prosecuted, the people are left with no option than to blame the chief executive. Your Excellency, sir, if these acts do not have your signature, then intervene now.
It is important to remind Your Excellency that these agitators have gained international reputation as non violent groups. The efforts being made by the DSS to criminalize these groups and label them terrorists is childish and futile. They know where to look for insurgents and terrorists in Nigeria, not with these peaceful agitators. Terrorists are not hiding their identity. I want you to know, Mr President, that a greater percentage of these groups are from the Southeast.
They are responsible young men and women with legitimate means of livelihood, and many of them doing exceedingly well in their different chosen careers. This brings me to the crux of this letter, Mr. President.
In Nigeria, different ethnic nationalities are known for peculiar areas of excellence. It is no longer news that the Igbo are known as a people who can virtually turn anything into wealth. NADECO was founded and funded by the Yoruba. Under a scorching military regime it still flourished. It owned pirate radio stations. Yet, they were not labeled terrorists.
The military didn't brazenly open fire on their gathering. The Niger Delta youths have been into militancy since the time of Isaac Adaka Boro and the federal government under the late former president Umar Musa Yaradua was sensitive enough to negotiate amnesty with them, a strategy which I hear, Mr President, you too have adopted.
The Boko Haram terrorists have been killing innocent people but you are still willing to negotiate with them. No finger has even ever been raised against the murderous Fulani Herdsmen. However, for the peaceful pro Biafra protesters, your government has consistently massacred in Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Asaba, Nkpor.
With this kind of treatment why won't the average Igbo youths want to renounce their Nigerian citizenship? I want to whisper this to you Mr President, the enterprising Igbo youths see opportunity in every situation. So don't let them discover the economic opportunities in terrorism.
Don't forget too quickly what happened in our recent history when kidnapping, which hitherto was the exclusive preserve of the creeks militants, was discovered by jobless Igbo youths. Your Excellency Sir, don't let them discover that in militancy there is oil bunkering, and that terrorism attracts international collaborators.
Mr President please stop dumping our youths in prisons to become hardened. Mr President release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu from an unjust incarceration. I urge you to look into the grievances of the group.
Try, Mr President, to nip in the bud this catastrophe in the waiting because an angry youth is a dangerous weapon. Those you release from incarceration, distract them from the attraction of easy money inherent in militancy by quickly rehabilitating them.
I have taken time to write you this long letter Your Excellency because of the fear that if these my abused brothers should discover the hidden lures of terrorism, I bet you, Africa, albeit the world, cannot contain the fineness and sophistication they will introduce to it. A stitch in time, Mr President, they say, saves nine.
Thank you and God bless you.
The Guerrilla Commentator
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