By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has referred to the Federal Government’s arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as an abduction.
Recall that on June 29, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, announced that Kanu had been apprehended on foreign soil and extradited to the country to face trial on charges of treason and terrorism, among others.
Speaking with BBC Pidgin on Monday, Soyinka said there would be a ruckus in the country if the truth of how Kanu was arrested becomes known.
He said, “It’s not for me to tell the president to prepare (himself) because it’s going to be a huge squawk when the truth about how Kanu was arrested comes out. People are alleging this or that. That is one phase whether Nigeria has acted outside international law.
“The second issue, however, has to do with Kanu’s conduct outside the nation. There’s been a level of hate rhetoric which has been unfortunate, from Kanu. Hate rhetoric is an issue that can only be judged by the laws of any nation.
“Was it right ‘to have been kidnapped?’ You can say intercepted as much as you want, but I think Kanu was kidnapped. That is wrong internationally and morally.”
Like many others, the novelist expressed his disappointment in the swiftness of Kanu’s capture in comparison to the efforts made to curtail banditry and insurgency in the country.
“The government can not wash itself clean on what seems to be a kind of comparative energy in pursuing the destabilised forces in the nation.
“If we take ourselves back, once when I threw a challenge to Buhari, what I expect from a true leader is to issue an order, give a deadline that any illegal occupant of any villages, farms is given 48 hours to quit after which the mighty forces of the nation will be unleashed on them. It was ignored.
“Years later, he came to say ‘we will respond to these people in the language they understand’. This is what I expected him to have said years ago, at the beginning of the insurgency.
“Their leadership–the Miyetti Allah — should have been arrested years ago, long before IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation. So people are right to say there has been an unequal and irregular approach to security and enforcement in this nation,” he added.
Soyinka called on the government to step up and take action instead of making excuses for their shortcomings.