Let me start by extending my heartfelt sympathy to the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, the peaceful and progressive people of the state, as well as other Nigerians that feel for those with interest in the South East, for the latest visit of calamity to Imo state.
In the early hours of today Monday, 05/04/2021, members of the banned secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, otherwise called IPOB, attacked the Imo State Police Headquarters as well as the Imo State Correctional Centre and freed several prison inmates. Members of the group made a similar attempt to take over the Government House but were repelled by the operatives on the ground.
Eyewitnesses said the attackers used dynamite and sophisticated guns during the operation, which was evidently done to embarrass the security agents and ridicule the leadership style of the Buhari administration.
This singular act, which is sequel to several of such attacks on different police formations in the south-east, would certainly cost the state and the country dear, in money, morale and material.
To give confidence and confirm the identity of the attackers, Nnamdi Kanu, the original IPOB leader, sent a tweet, claiming to have directed the attacks, wherein he gave orders that prisoners should be freed. “If Miyetti Allah terror herdsmen, other murderous Fulani groups, including Boko Haram insurgents, can be arrested, freed and rehabilitated by this neo-colonial Fulanised Nigeria President, no single soul deserves to be in any prison in Nigeria.” -Nnamdi Kanu.
Yes, Nnamdi Kanu is not only challenging President Muhammadu Buhari but daring to dislodge Nigeria.
It may interest us all to know that IPOB was set up by Nnamdi Kanu in 2012, as a Biafran separatist organization, with the primary objective of establishing an independent state of Biafra. Nnamdi Kanu holds dual citizenship, being a British born Nigerian.
Since the coming of PMB to power, IPOB has been consistent in criticizing the federal government, for what it called, its poor investment, inequitable resource distribution and ethnic marginalization of the Ibos.
This is in flagrant disregard to the fact highlighted by the minister of state labour, Mr. Festus Kiyamo, that no president has given more lucrative appointments to the Ibos as did Buhari.
Again in flagrant disrespect to the deed of a President, who on September 1st, 2018, launched the construction of the second Niger bridge, with a directive that it must be completed by February 2022, at the cost of N336 billion.
In recent years, IPOB has gained notoriety for the frequent targeting of security operatives, particularly the police, and for reasons no one understands, the government has been treating them with kids gloves.
During the EndSARS protest, Nnamdi Kanu directed members of the group to kill on sight, any police or security operative sighted on the streets, a directive they carried out with reckless abandon. Many police stations were burnt down and several police officers sent to their early graves, simply because they have chosen to serve in protecting their fatherland.
It is on record that, starting from August 2020, violence between IPOB and the security operatives, particularly the police, has escalated.
In December last year, Kanu announced the establishment of a paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), allegedly to protect the Igbo against the Fulani, but everyone knows the aim is to terrorize the police and non-indigenes.
The attempt on the Government house Owerri is aimed at sending a message to Governor Hope Uzodinma, who is vehemently against secession, like the sponsors of the bandits are doing to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, for being against negotiation with the rebels.
IPOB is only testing the waters by humiliating the President through protests at the Abuja House in London and terrorizing the southeast, through the test of arms in Owerri.
In politics, power is the authority or control exercised by the government, and as of today in Nigeria, that power is in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was duly, directly and democratically elected by about 15.2million eligible voters, to navigate the sheep of governance in the direction of peace, security and prosperity.
The failure of the President to discharge that responsibility, through decisive, aggressive and assertive means, in my own opinion as an untrained interpreter of the law, is peri pasu with the crime of treason, or wilfully tolerating the act of terrorism in a state, to which one owes allegiance.
The government cannot continue to look the other way, while the police, who are human beings like each and every one of us, are being killed like chicken, simply because they have chosen to forfeit their comfort for the comfort of the larger society.
Undoubtedly there is an attempt to topple the government. And one thing the President and his handlers seem not to understand is that, in the event of a violent overthrow of the regime, Nigerians would not only refuse to sympathize with them but press for the prosecution and subsequent conviction of all of them, because of the offense of negligence.
Their failure to foresee, and take reasonable care to avoid the calamity of the overthrow, which would inadvertently cause the country a lot of injuries, is a charge Nigerians would press against them, with PMB having to bear the biggest portion of the blame, because he had faced a similar scenario in the past.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja