Editorial: Silencing the voice of division in Nigeria

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Current happenings in Nigeria occasioned by insecurity and the general perception that the perpetrators are invincible or better still, untouchable is giving life to secessionist rhetoric in some parts of the country. The inability of the government at both the state and federal level to find lasting solution to banditry and kidnapping in the north and yet, resolved to deploy all machineries at its disposal to crush the excesses of “unknown gunmen” in the southeast paints the government as accomplice to the insecurity in the north.

The proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has been in the forefront of the secession of the Southeast geopolitical zone populated by the Ibos. The group, since 2012 has demanded for an independence referendum in the zone. But for almost a year, IPOB has allegedly instigated violent attacks in the southeast through its supposed armed wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), attacking government institutions, especially offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and various police and other security establishments.

IPOB reason for this call is occasion by the perceived injustices against the southeast zone by the Federal Government that has resulted in long-lasting complaints about poverty, slanted appointments in favour of other parts of the country especially the north.

Also in the Southwest, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly referred to as Sunday Igboho, in a viral video, declared the geopolitical zone independent of Nigeria and named the southwest Oduduwa Republic. He claimed that major institutions in the south-west are headed by people of Fulani origin.

“The Yorubas that are everywhere are larger than most countries, therefore we call on the global community and United Nations to come & separate us. We are no longer interested in being part of Nigeria before this becomes war, they need to intervene because we want to go.

“As it stands now, we are no longer under Nigeria. If they don’t intervene, it will go beyond control. We have gone beyond the point where we keep quiet; we are no longer scared to voice out. We are not safe anywhere, we can’t sleep in peace, we can’t travel in peace, what have we done? Are we slaves? We don’t do wrong by existing, we only chose the wrong leaders and we are saying enough is enough,” he said.

To make do his threat, he vowed that the zone would not participate in the 2023 elections. Sunday Igboho’s agitation stemmed from the invasion of some communities in the Southwest by suspected herdsmen that engage in kidnapping and unprovoked attacks.

Secessionist agitations like these are inimical to the progress of the country. It is therefore important that the Federal Government address the basis of these agitations instead of hunting the agitators. There should be fairness and equality in appointments to public offices. The Federal character commission was established to ensure that all sections of the country is carried along in appointments and employment into public offices, we therefore advise that the government should adhere to the dictates of the Act that established the commission in the distribution of jobs and socioeconomic amenities among different parts of the country.

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