Former Nigeria Ambassador to Argentina, Empire Kanu has asked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to grant referendum to the South Eastern part of the country.
The Ambassador made this call while reacting to the recent re-arrest and extradition of the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu wondered why the government is so concerned about the IPOB leader who is only agitating for equity and justice when Fulani herdsmen and bandits are ravaging the country.
He challenged the government to address the germane issues Nnamdi Kanu is raising, noting that the IPOB leader has the right to demand a better treatment for his people.
He asked, “Why is the federal government so worried about Nnamdi Kanu. What has he done to warrant all this apprehension?
”When you have herdsmen and Miyetti Allah ravaging the country, why is Government not going after them? If you want a fair deal, round up others too.
”This union was forced on us by the British. The military twisted the constitution in favour of the North. Since then things have not been right.
”So Nnamdi and millions of other youths like him are not happy that they are being treated as second class citizens in their own country.
“Easterners have been marginalised and if your rights are being taken away and you continue to endure it but your children come up and say no, that they can’t tolerate it anymore, what do you do?
”The question is: what is Nnamdi asking for? Is it not simple referendum? Why is Government afraid of giving referendum to him and others who believe in the cause he is championing to determine whether or not they want to continue in this union?
”Yugoslavia had referendum and today they have their separate countries living in peace. Germany had referendum. Even Britain that put us into this union also had referendum and opted out of European Union.
”Why is it that Britain allowed Island and Scotland to have referendum but is unwilling to allow Eastern region to have referendum?
”Britain should talk now and leave us alone. If you give us referendum nobody will agitate again because the outcome of the referendum will solve this quarrel.
”So, what is the problem in asking for referendum? Is Government not the one harrasing Nnamdi Kanu? They are the ones harrasing the poor boy.
”He was arrested and granted bail. He was enjoying his bail when soldiers raided his home and he fled. It’s only a tree that they came to cut down and it remained where it was.
”Now that they have abuducted him back to the country they should respect his rights and follow the rule of law. They should allow him access to his family, doctors and lawyers.”
Ambassador Kanu argued that the agitation for self determination is fueled by injustice perpetrated against South Easterners, adding that Kanu only represents millions of others who are yelling for Justice.
”Do they think we are blind? Why is their attention on oil? They are mining gold in the North and who is auditing them? Look at how the Petroleum Industry Bill was messed up? Host communities now to scramble for 3 per cent while 30% is for exploration of oil.”