Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Why Call To Declare State Of Emergency In South East Won’t Achieve Anything – Omokri

Ex-presidential aide Reno Omokri has said the request for President Bola Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the South East will not achieve the desired results.

In a tweet via his Twitter page on Monday, the political analyst said the request to declare a state of emergency would only aggravate issues in the region and could lead to another crisis.

The former aide stated that the continued sit-at-home orders are due to the continued incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Omokri said the plan to bring peace to the South East was to convince President Bola Tinubu to release Kanu on the condition that he would give up violence to pursue his secession agenda and promote any political or social policy he has peacefully and democratically.

He wrote: “I am not sure the request for President Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the Southeast will achieve the desired results. In my opinion, it will only aggravate issues. Let’s look at the challenge holistically instead. Why are there sit-at-homes in the Southeast? It is due to the continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu.

“Now, Nnamdi Kanu himself was a response to former President Buhari’s attitude towards the Southeast. He considered the region a “dot in a circle” and shortchanged them because ‘constituents, for example, that gave me 97% cannot, in all honesty, be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%’.

“But Buhari is gone, and that class of 1966 mentality, which fought the civil war, is no longer in control of Nigeria’s affairs. There has been a change of guard.

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“What lovers of Nigeria ought to do to bring peace to the Southeast is to convince President Tinubu to release Nnamdi Kanu on the condition that Mr Kanu will give up violence as a means of pursuing his agenda, and that he would promote any political or social policy he has peacefully and democratically.

“With Muhammadu Buhari out of the picture, I am not sure Mr Kanu will reject such conditions. And if he is freed, the sit-at-homes will die a natural death. That will be a less expensive way to resolve the crisis. Plus, fewer people will die.

“But if a state of emergency is declared, and soldiers and other security forces are deployed in the Southeast, it will lead to clashes with Mr Kanu’s supporters, who are not cowards and recreate and entrench the type of atmosphere that led to the emergence of Nnamdi Kanu, and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra movement in the first place.

“The state of emergency will be a massive public relations success for IPOB, and recruitment into the group will increase, along with anti-Nigeria sentiments amongst moderate Southeasterners.

“But if, instead, President Tinubu sets up a Southeast Development Commission and spends the money he would have used to send soldiers into the zone to ensure the rapid infrastructural development of the Southeast, not only will he reduce anti-Nigeria sentiment amongst the Igbos to the barest minimum, even he can expect massive votes from that region in future elections.

“It is not every time that force and state of emergency works. What did the state of emergency achieve in the Northeast, except to turn the region’s people against President Jonathan, who actually meant well for them?

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“The same scenario played out in the Western Region of Nigerua after Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa imposed a state of emergency there. In fact, Mr Balewa’s action triggered a most unfortunate series of events that NOBODY wants a repeat of. God forbid!

“Look, I hate to restate the obvious, but the Nigerian military is already overstretched with internal security issues, namely terrorism in the Northeast, banditry in the Northwest, and farmer header crisis in the North-central. Opening up another major front is not wise. We need a containment policy, not an expansionist one.

“If President Tinubu accedes to the request of those wanting a state of emergency, he could open a Pandora’s Box. And after repeating history, we will accuse history of repeating itself.

“President Tinubu should inherit General Buhari’s friends, but not his enemies. Nnamdi Kanu was a victim of the circumstances Buhari created. To solve the situation, President Tinubu should thus create simultaneously different and better circumstances.”


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