Open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari: Before your first shot on Southeast; check the cost!
Major General Mohammadu Buhari (Retired) GCFRC)
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, State House,
For all the positions I have taken on political discourse as it affects Nigeria’s continued existence, I have never advocated for violence as resolving solutions to any issue, not even a means for an end as the cost is always painful and costlier than the output. Therefore, I condemn any person or group of persons adopting any form of violence or civil disobedience as an option to register any grievances, ‘factual or perceived,
For the umpteenth time in my advocacies, I’ve always emphasised that we can only progress better as a nation when we adopt true political system and address the nation’s crisis from a more holistic and sincere point of view where the first stone-throw is to tell ourselves the truth and harken to it.
Mr President, it is on that note that I write to say that the escalating situation in the Southeast is not the type that it cannot be addressed, but it is obvious that the methods so far adopted to contain the situation only ended up polluting and aggrevating the matter thereby compounding the woes of the affected people and closing windows of hope for dialogue. Yet the truth remains that only dialogue can bring the matter to an end because even if you choose to kill the whole youths in the southeast today, the bearers of the ideology of freedom from evidenced marginalisation would continue to fight further after you and I have left the earth s surface.
In case we have quickly forgotten, let me remind us what Philip Effiong told Obasanjo about the surrendering †††*†Biafrans.
“Treat them well, or their children will rise to fight again”.
If they are fighting again today, it means they were not treated well and using coercion, guns and bullets approach will only aggravate the tension as this generation who did not witness what their fathers fought for would not be deterred from agitating and fighting for their same rights. What I say here is evident as seen in the way the minor crisis is gradually escalating while we all watch helplessly.
The truth remains Mr President that the way the issue of IPOB has been handled between the Federal Government and the Southeast Governors portrayed betrayal of the people of the region and the haste at which the body was tagged a terrorist organization while Herdsmen have been on rampage, killing at will only shows the injustice and unfair treatments that characterise Nigeria and this injustice if not addressed would continue to ferment the spirit of violence. This is another line of truth we must be able to tell ourselves if this anomalies and deepening crisis would be resolved.
It justifiably wrong and disheartening that at the point where Boko Haram insurgents are captured, transformed and rehabilitated; Bandits on the other hand are negotiated with and paid handsome ram some and Herdsmen are appeased after sacking communities from their ancestral land in “ONE NIGERIA PHILOSOPHY” then IPOB in the contrary was declared a terrorist outfit when their leader was having a dialogue with Governors to find a lasting solution to tackle the situation. Is this not reeves of hypocrisy and injustice in a supposed equality one Nigeria?
I am convinced Mr President that after all the series of crisis that had happened in Bauchi, Kano, Zamfara, Kaduna, Benue, Niger etc, there was not a form of declaration of State of Emergency, but it would amount to a declaration of War on Southeast to declare a State of Emergency as bandied by Malami and get away with it. We must be cognizant of the fact that times are different and like I earlier said,perceived injustice would always be resisted by the people no matter how hard you hit them of which nobody can tell what the end point would be.
Except there’s is an APC Agenda behind the Anambra election, such careless and badly perceived plans may be the last straw that will break the Camels back if strict care is not taken to withdraw this ill cooked plans.”Truth remains a force that no amount of resisting actions can suppress it”
Until Nigeria begins to treat the Southeast with dignity, equal opportunities and good sense of cooperation and not like a conquered people that must be subdued and strangulated, Nigeria problems will be far from over. What is obtainable in the 19th century may not fly in the 21st Century because times and space are different and technology is hybrid. This is a bitter truth we must tell ourselves and be prepared to defend.
Mr President, this is time to be the Nigeria President and not some 18th-century warlord. Unlike Boko Haram and Bandits, IPOB demands are known and clear. In as much as I will not advocate for the government to bow to the will of these people, I strongly believe the better solution will come when they are brought to a table and listened to.
If we can negotiate with terrorists and pay Ransome to Bandits, even propose amnesty for kidnappers in the North, why would it be too hurried to set our soldiers on war exploits on the masses of the southeast at every provocation? These and more are the causes of the escalating crisis.
In conclusion, I would like to point out to your attention Mr President that while our Governors and leaders are controlling power, the proscribed IPOB we call miscreants are controlling the mind of the people out of years of Orientations and to some extent ‘fear of the unknown looms’
We are tired of losing our youths endlessly, count the cost before you fire that shot into the Southeast, for what is doing is worth doing well.
@views exclusive rights: Chief Dr. Emeka Kalu, Peoples Democratic Party Chieftain and former Governorship aspirant in Abia state, October 7, 2021.
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