By Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri
Muhammadu Buhari made very reckless, inflammatory statements in the wake of the 2011 elections, which sparked an orgy of violence across several northern states, resulting in the untimely death of over 800 citizens. He was neither arrested nor punished for this infamy, but instead, rewarded with election into public office in 2015.
Abubakar Shekau has made, and continues to make inflammatory statements, including using acts of terrorism to threaten Nigeria political and territorial sovereignty. Rather than crush and punish these terrorists, Buhari has released many of them from prison while northern elders have appealed for amnesty.
Asari Dokubo, Boyloaf, Tompolo have at various times, threatened public peace and formed movements that blew up oil installations and took oil expatriates hostage. They are still free men, rewarded with multibillion dollar marine surveillance contracts.
Nnamdi Kanu has not fired one single shot. He has never been involved in any act of violence. He has only made some childish statements, but yet, he is arrested and detained for weeks without a formal charge and without trial. The suppression of minority voices and ethnic-based campaigns against the structural injustices in Nigeria is now assuming a frighteningly alarming dimension.
Ok, in Igbo land, you are expected to keep quiet and allow elders handle some seemingly difficult situations. I have held back and watched from a distance. Igbo leaders of thought, SE Governors, Igbo intellectuals, Igbos activists and civil society leaders that hold themselves out as defenders of human rights have all KEPT MUTE. I simply want them to know that their silence is criminal. This criminal silence is primarily motivated by self-interest, greed and corruption. And by so doing, they have affirmed their status as second-class citizens in the modern Nigeria.
Nobody is asking you to support Nnamdi Kanu’s Biafra agitation activities. That sort of agitation is not new, and there are laws and mechanisms for addressing them. You have not used them to argue for or against his unlawful detention. Your criminal silence and refusal to act will come back to haunt you all. You have lost every ounce of respect my generation once had for you. I AM UTTERLY DISAPPOINTED.
Victoria Ohaeri is an Harvard Trained Lawyer and Director of Space For Change