Former military governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (retd), has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has exhibited poor skills in managing the diversity in the country.
In a statement entitled “Nigeria: Nation Challenged” and made available to the Tribune Online on Wednesday, Dangiwa said that “it is my long held belief that this country is more beneficial to all the federating units if only because it provides a security umbrella to all its units.”
On the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Dangiwa said:
“The recent re-arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was greeted with a loud sigh of relief and celebration in some sections of the country.
“It also elicited congratulatory messages to the Federal Government which appears overwhelmed by the intractable security challenges and in dire need of any redeeming act.
“This is clearly an exaggeration of the security threat Nnamdi Kanu and indeed IPOB pose to our nation’s security and unity.
“It is quite strange and disturbing that the Federal Government is according undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the North-West, some parts of North-Central and North-East.
“Activities of those criminals have resulted in the evacuation of over 20 per cent of the villages in North-West and North-East. Hundreds are being murdered and maimed every week.
“Many more are kidnapped for ransom. Millions have been rendered internally displaced, facing disease and starvation.
“Over 1,000 school children were abducted in the past eight months with over 300 still in the hands of the bandits and kidnappers demanding humongous ransom payments. Rape of women and young girls has become a daily occurrence.
“Most economic activities, particularly farming, which is the mainstay of the people in these areas, are now all but impossible.
“Government’s earlier claim of having technically defeated the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East has turned out to be empty propaganda. Contrary to this claim, the enemy has morphed into a more determined and deadly force, threatening to overrun the whole of the North-East.
“For the average Northerner living in these zones, who is barely aware of the activities of separatists, banditry, kidnappings and insurgency are of greater threat and concern to him.
“The arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is of no serious consequence, since it does nothing to ameliorate his harsh and brutal condition.
“In recognising or reasserting the right of every citizen or group to express their desire for self-determination, one does not support or condone the use of violence for such purpose. IPOB and its leader may well be responsible for some of the violence, including the murder of security personnel, arson and destruction of public and private properties for which they should be held to account.