President, Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin has called on the federal government to thread carefully following alleged plans by security agents to arrest Mr. Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
While calling on the government to learn from history, she said that Boko Haram became a big threat because the government failed to handle it properly at the beginning.
She said: “We received with concern the reported attempt by security operatives to whimsically arrest Yoruba rights activists, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
“We must learn from history and tread carefully! This was how a little Boko Haram fire was carelessly handled and it became the monster that it is today.
“With crises everywhere – Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, banditry, kidnappings and the Niger Delta militants joining the fray again – we must not open another theatre of war in the South-west.
“Rather than go for Igboho’s arrest, let the federal government address the vexed issue of Fulani herdsmen’s terrorism in the South-west and, indeed, in other parts of the country.
“This is what gave rise to the Igboho phenomenon and solving it will be tantamount to uprooting the problem completely and handling the Igboho issue.”
According to her, cutting the branches might turn out an exercise in futility as the tree will sprout again.
“Leaving the substance and chasing shadows is like leaving leprosy and treating skin rashes”, she added.
She contended that addressing the problem of insecurity holistically would be less expensive than opening another front for unrest in the South-west.
She reminded the government that Nigeria is a democracy, which does not allow for extra-judicial killings or the trampling of the fundamental rights of citizens.
She said: “Gestapo-like seizure of citizens is anathema to democracy and we thought we had outgrown that!
“Nigerians fought bitter fights and waged relentless struggles for the freedoms and liberties we all enjoy today – including those of our compatriots in power.
“They, therefore, must not take us back to the dark ages of arbitrary arrests and abridging of the inalienable rights of Nigerians.
A word is enough for the wise!”