Bola Akintenrinwa

Diplomat and former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has warned that going hard on the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, will not stop agitations for secession in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the country, but will instead provoke their followers to resort to violence.

Akinterinwa who spoke in an interview with PUNCH, emphasized that violence is not the solution to their agitations, but dialogue.

“Nigeria can be big; nobody is saying you are not big or more powerful but it took just two terrorists to lock down the twin building in the U.S. and for thousands of people to be killed and for America to now sit tight,” he said.

“We are treading on the same path. I think it is Shakespeare that said in Macbeth that there is no art of finding the human construction from the face. In this case, who really is the terrorist? The terrorists fighting on the battlefield are different from the terrorists that are funding them or that are outside.

“We are moving towards a situation whereby the Pro-Igbohos, the Pro-Kanus, the Pro-Self-determination (people) etc may begin now to make bombs themselves and be throwing here and there and the whole country will be disorderly. We need application of basic thinking,” he said

Akinterinwa, according to PUNCH, stressed that the clampdown on agitators was not the solution but a mediation process where all parties would sit at a table and dialogue.

“Arrest all of them, extradite all of them but that won’t stop the agitation for Yoruba Republic and it won’t stop agitation for Biafra Republic. Biafra Republic came into being as far back as 1962; it was discussed in their palace. So, if by 1967, the war broke out…it is simply because the people felt they do not want to belong,” he said.

“If any President of Nigeria is sincere about wanting to govern Nigeria (with due respect to all others), please sit down, strategise, ask people to come: ‘What really are your grievances? Okay, if you want to be sovereign, in which way will the interest of all others? We are all brothers and sisters.'”

Kanu was extradited from Kenya and Igbo who was arrested in Benin Republic at weekend on the request of Nigerian government, is facing possible extradition to the country.


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