By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has called on the Federal Government to change its tactics in dealing with the so-called separatists like the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nation agitators if the success of Sit-at-Home order in the South East geopolitical zone on Monday is anything to rely upon.
He also asked the South East Governors to resign from their positions because they have lost their legitimacy to govern the states if their citizens can obey the the Sit-at-home orders of none state actors like IPOB.
Adegboruwa who spoke on African Independent Television (AIT) breakfast programme ‘Kakaaki’ on the topic: Self Determination Struggles’ on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to trade softly on the issues of civil disobedience and self-determination.
According to him, history has shown that use of force has never stopped self-determination struggles as can be seen in the case of former President of South Africa, ‘Madiba’ Nelson Mandela, who was dehumanized and imprisoned but Black South Africans continued to engage in both civil unrest and gorilla-warfare against the White Rule until Mandela was released and later became President.
Adegboruwa said the total compliance to the IPOB Sit-at-home order on Monday by the majority of the people of the South East extraction has once again shown that the arrest and detention of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will not stop the agitations.
Said he: “The level of success IPOB Sit-at-home order recorded on Monday in the South East and the total compliance of similar order early this year for the South East to mourn their people who died in the civil war have shown everyone that the agitation is beyond their leader.
“Again, this has brought us to the legitimacy of the South East Governors, I believe they have lost it because they don’t have influence over their citizens. They are not incharge of the states they claim to govern as the IPOB have more influence on the people of South East”.
On how to calm down the agitators in the South East, the fiery lawyer said the agitators will continue unless the Nigerian government tackles headlong those problems that gave birth to the restiveness.
“Firstly, agitations in the South East was borne out of the clear marginalization of the people of the region. This is the third largest ethnic group in Nigeria yet they have been treated as outcasts. Even in the political discussions towards the 2023 Presidential Election, I have only heard how power should again go to the North or South West. South East has not been mentioned.
“Secondly, they are not being made to feel belonged in their own country hence they are agitating and rightly so. But I will bet that if their grievances are addressed such as the marginalization and level of injustice meted out to them, the Biafran agitators will disappear”, Adegboruwa insisted.
The Lagos lawyer therefore advised the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency dialogue with the agitators through the South East leaders like the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obizor; Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, among others.