- ACF spokesman asks FG not to dialogue withÂ IPOB leader
Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, should be detained for disobeying court orders.
In an interview with The Sun, Kanu recalled how the federal government refused to release him after the court ordered that he should be set free.
He told those calling for his arrest to demand that the president be detained.
â€œPresident Buhari was the one who broke the laws; he disobeyed the direct court order to release me unconditionally, not once, but twice.â€
â€œHonourable Shuaibu of Wuse magistrate court granted me bail, Buhari did not release me. Justice Ademola granted me unconditional bail, Buhari and his cousin, Lawal Daura, refused to honour that court order.
â€œThey are the ones who should be detained for flagrant disobedience to court orders. I want the northern Arewa irredentists to call for the arrest of Buhari and Daura for flouting court order after court order asking for my release.
â€œIt smacks of hypocrisy and absolute cowardice that people who could not rise up in defence of the law when a court made a judicial pronouncement are now clamouring for my arrest because they believe it is easy to do so. Before now, Nnamdi Kanu is Igbo, he is a Biafran and can be arrested and nothing will happen but that would not be anymore, it would no longer happen,â€ he said.
Kanu also boasted that the country would burn if the federal government re-arrest him.
Last week, the government approached a court in Abuja to seek the revocation of Kanuâ€™s bail on the grounds that he had violated the conditions under which he was released.
Binta Nyako, a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, who set the agitator free after 18 months in detention, ordered him not to grant press interviews and to avoid being seen in a crowd of more than 10 people.
But Kanu has since violated the bail conditions.
In the interview, the IPOB leader, according to The Cable, wondered why no attempt has been made to arrest the Arewa youths who gave the quit notice to the Igbo resident in the North.
Kanu said: â€œQuote me verbatim. If Iâ€™m rearrested, this country will burn, I assure you.â€
â€From where that oil money they depend on, they can no longer have access to it. I assure them that. This is not an empty threat.
â€Weâ€™re IPOB, we donâ€™t abandon our own.â€
Asked why he has been violating the bail conditions, he said: â€œAre you talking about an illegal and unconstitutional bail condition?Â A bail condition designed to emasculate and basically render IPOB impotent? Does anyone seriously think Iâ€™m going to stand for IPOB to be rendered desolate?
â€œI canâ€™t allow that to happen. I have not violated any laws unknown to the Nigerian judicial establishment. I have not committed any offence; no crime whatsoever. I said no crime. It is a violation of my right to ask me not to speak; to ask me not to be in a congregation of not more than 10 people, an absolute violation of articles enshrined in the constitution that I expect all and sundry to be rising up in defence of, not trying to justify the erosion of my fundamental human rights to speak, to be heard and to associate.â€
He insisted that the Anambra State governorship election will not hold, calling on his supporters to boycott the exercise.
The IPOB leader said: â€œI gave a speech in Aba, Abia State, on Sunday and I made it absolutely clear that the boycott stays.
â€œWe must boycott the election in Anambra State. It is our civic responsibility to do so and thatâ€™s what we are going to do â€“ total and absolute boycott, to let the whole world understand the strength of IPOB on the ground, in Anambra State.â€
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani,Â has said any attempt to dialogue with Kanu, will translate to rewarding bad behaviour with recognition.
Kanu has been accused of promoting hate speech in the course of his quest for the sovereign state of Biafra.
In an interview with PUNCH, Sani warned against any move to hold talks with Kanu or his camp, saying such would bring about dire consequences.
He also condemned Kanuâ€™s use of â€œuncouth language capable of incitement.
â€œHe (Kanu) even used the word â€˜zooâ€™ to depict Nigeria and in blithe disregard for the fact that this same term was used in Rwanda to cause ethnic cleansing with dire consequences.
â€œThere are countries where agitations for the split have taken place without the resort to the use of foul language and hate speech as we have experienced with IPOB.
â€œWhile I agree that dialogue is preferred to an altercation in a democracy which is a contest of ideas and reasons, your position is a matter of judgment.
â€œThose who encourage dialogue in the case of IPOB ignore the dire consequences of rewarding bad behaviour with recognition and a form of concession. We must discourage threats and intimidation in a democracy which is a contest of ideas and reasons. It is not a bullfight.â€
Sani, according to The Cable, also restated the position of ACF that the quit notice issued by the Arewa youths in the North cannot be compared with Kanuâ€™s â€œthreat to Nigeriaâ€™s unity.â€
He said the notice was due to the youthsâ€™ â€œfrustration arising from the activities of IPOB â€“ more so now that they have been persuaded to withdraw the notice to quit; which they have withdrawn.â€
â€œThat underscores the impression that the two offences do not have the same weight nor can it be treated the same way,â€ he added.
Sani accused Igbo leaders of â€œtactically endorsingâ€ IPOBâ€™s use of hate speech in their quest for Biafra.
He added that it would be â€œmost unfairâ€ to accuse northern leaders of shielding the Arewa youths as the leaders â€œdid not support the notice to quit (issued to the Igbo.)
â€œFor example, the ACF said even though it appreciated the youthsâ€™ frustrations with the activities of IPOB, the forum did not support the notice to quit because it was unconstitutional and illegal.
â€œHate speech is a serious issue capable of splitting the country through avoidable conflagration or war. Yet, Igbo leaders have tended to tacitly endorse the hate speech by the IPOB through their reticence until very recently â€“ and despite their knowledge of dire experiences of civil war.â€