The Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his government “currently jubilating over the arrest of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, not to celebrate yet as the struggle is not over.
The OYC, in a statement on Wednesday made available to Ripples Nigeria and jointly signed by its President-General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike and the Secretary-General, Comrade Obinna Achuonye, said the arrest of Kanu would not bring to an end to agitations in the South-East, and as such, the government should not jubilate over it.
The group added that reactions to the arrest of the IPOB leader should be used by the Federal Government to gauge the pulse of the people, and use same to address the various issues fueling the agitations.
“It is no longer news that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has been taken into custody by the Nigerian government, after he was arrested in Kenya,” the statement said.
“We have also seen how the government is gloating over his arrest, as though it is a millennial achievement.
“In any case, if the government will care to listen, we advise once more that it should leverage on Kanu’s arrest to dialogue with the IPOB and other agitating groups.
“The Federal Government should look at what brought about the agitation in the first place; if you end up treating just symptoms of a sickness, the ailment will still be there.
“Ndigbo have never suffered this level of marginalization in Nigeria – total exclusion, total abandonment.
“So, the FG should douse the current tension and agitations in the South-East by giving the region a sense of belonging, what is due for them, including Igbo presidency in 2023. The crackdown on Kanu will end up producing hundreds of other Kanu.
“May we also tell the government to utilize the same energy in arresting bandits terrorizing the North and the rampaging herdsmen ravaging Southern Nigeria.
“As we speak, all schools in Kaduna State have been shut down, with hundreds of school children under the captivity of the bandits, but the government is busy looking for Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
“The government must try to be civilized in its approach, not the kind of gestapo system used in invading Sunday Igboho’s house, we are not in a banana republic.
“Nnamdi Kanu should also be granted access to his family, medical doctor, lawyer and associates. He is still presumed innocent until proven guilty and for that he should be given a fair trial.
“The IPOB leader should not be abandoned to his fate; we know that he abused so many Igbo leaders in his utterances, but you don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.”