LAGOS socio-political activist Chief Adesunbo Onitiri has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesties to both Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo in the interest of peace and the need for the government to focus on more pressing challenges.
Over the last few weeks, the federal government has stepped up the pursuit of separatist campaigners, raiding the Ibadan home of Mr Adeyemo and abducting Mr Kanu from Kenya. Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho is the organiser of the Yoruba Nation campaign, while Mr Kanu is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).
Both men have been campaigning for their regions to secede from Nigeria and have gathered mass followings, mainly due to the activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen. Because President Buhari, himself an ethnic Fulani and rearer of cows is seen as being supportive of the herdsmen and their murderous activities, many affected people, especially in rural areas, believe secession in the way forward.
With the federal government now going after these campaigners, the division is expected to intensify, prompting Chief Onitiri to call for caution. He pointed out that there were too many daunting problems confronting the nation that urgently needed all hands to tackle, so the distraction of ethnic division should be avoided.
Chief Onitiri said: “We, democrats and lovers of Nigeria wish to implore President Buhari and the federal government to please grant Nnamdi Kanu and all Ipob members’ amnesty in the interest of peace in the country. This call is in line with the amnesty granted the Niger Delta militants and recently the bandits, as canvassed by Sheik Abubakar Gumi.
“The loud agitations in the country in all parts of the country are results of serious injustice in our system and the agitations cannot be addressed with iron hands or state brutal force. Let us all address the injustice in Nigeria.”
He called on all patriots and lovers of democracy to speak up and defend Nigeria’s fledgling democracy that Nigerians fought so hard for. In addition, Chief Onitiri advised that President Buhari should address the agitations in the country.