Wednesday, June 30, 2021 9:59 am
Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest, Terrorists of Nigeria, Book Haram, Shekau, Bandits,
By Chris Adetayo
I have nothing against the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. He jumped bail. He continued his incendiary campaign. And whatever else are the allegations that the Govt has against him, he deserves his day in court.
However, I have a major problem with a country that treats equals unequally. This is one of my fundamental grouse with Nigeria. Our dear country finds it difficult, if not impossible, to ensure equal treatment to its citizens. This reality did not start under the Buhari administration. But there’s enough to suggest that it has become elevated in recent times.
The biggest threat that Nigeria has faced in the last decade is Boko Haram. The arrow head of that dastardly group that specializes in killing and maiming was some shadowy figure named Abubakar Shekau. He had a base in the country. Yet this man, inspite of committing atrocities after atrocities, was never arrested. He was never harmed. It was like he was unreachable, a modern day Houdini who was beyond the reach of law and man. Until news broke that a rebel group from Chad invaded his hideout and killed him. It makes one wonder – if a bunch of invaders from Chad could get him, what had stopped our forces from doing same for over a decade? Or was it just that there was no real intent to neutralize him?
Still on Boko Haram, how many of them – foot soldiers, leaders and financiers – have had their day in court? More often, we hear and read of rehabilitation of these devilish people. Absolutely no sanctions for the pain they have caused to country and people.
Roaming around is a certain Sheik Gumi. He spends his day hobnobbing with and defending marauding bandits whose stock in trade is to abduct young and old for ransom. He seems to know everything about them – where they are, their MO, their objectives etc. Regularly, he canvasses their diabolical cause and seeks relief for them. Years on, neither he nor the bandits have faced any consequence. No arrests, no legal proceedings, nothing!!!
When a fair-minded person takes a look at the different tactics used for these groups and persons, it’s hard to not have questions. When an Igbo takes a critical look, it’s hard not to believe that the Govt (if not the country) is against them and treats them different. All that this situation does is feed into existing conceptions, right or wrong, that the Igbo do not get a fair shake in the land.
When news broke of Kanu’s arrest yesterday, I was having a conversation with an Igbo friend. Never in a million years is this person pro-Kanu or pro-IPOB. But I could feel the hesitation, nay sadness. There was a sense that a stab wound that was healing up had been reopened, with the victim having to relive the bitterness all over again.
We don’t have an Igbo problem. Or a structural problem. We have a fairness problem. We must admit it. Then proceed to correct same.
-Chris Adetayo is a public affairs analyst