Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Monday said that the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government should refrain from use of brute force in finding a solution to the renewed agitations for Biafra Republic by certain groups in the country.
There has been series of protests in some parts of the country by members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the continued detention of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Ozekhome, while giving examples of countries that forcibly broke up in the past, said the federal government must urgently look into why the Igbos are calling for secession even after the end of the Biafra Civil War. According to him “The United Nations Charter and the African charter of Human and Peoples Right both recognise the rights of people of the world for self determination as to how the world will co-exist and live together”.
“In the past, countries that did not separate peacefully broke up violently. Remember the former Soviet Union USSR, remember the former Yugoslavia, even of recent we have the case of South Sudan and Sudan. In other words, man by nature wants to be independent from the control of others. That is why I think it is better to negotiate separation rather than a forcible break up”.
“The federal government must look into why this people still feel they do not belong to Nigeria after the 3 Rs (Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation) declared by General Yakubu Gowon in January 1970 when the civil war ended”. “Why do the Igbos still feel that they are at the periphery of national affairs and that they are not actually accommodated? These fears, these aspirations, these idiosyncracy meanings have to be looked into. Putting it down by sheer brute force will not end it,” he said.