By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide yesterday urged the Federal Government to address the fundamental issues of injustice to end agitations and the emergence of ethnic heroes.
It believes going after the likes of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and the Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), will amount to nothing without justice.
Ohanaeze said the Federal Government should apply similar zeal and efficacy with which it arrested Kanu and Igboho in dealing with killer-herdsmen and bandits.
Kanu was arrested in Kenya on June 25 and brought back to face trial for alleged treason.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered that he be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) and adjourned until July 26 for resumption of his trial.
DSS operatives raided Igboho’s home on July 1, killing two of his aides and arresting others after accusing him of stockpiling arms.
Yesterday, security agents arrested Igboho in the Benin Republic on his way to Germany along with his wife.
Ohanaeze, in a statement by its spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, believes other Kanus and Igbohos “will sooner than later emerge” if the underlying issues are not addressed.
The group feels Kanu and Igboho are seen as heroes by their people because they are believed to be fighting just causes.
Ohanaeze said: “Nigerian security operatives have in recent time shown that they have teeth and can bite.
“The question on every mouth is whether they can apply similar zeal in treating the Boko Haram kingpins; Fulani herdsmen; the Northwest bandits, etc.
“The foregoing selective efficiency of the security operatives elicits the reason for the making of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
“One of the departing admonitions of Pope John Paul II is: ‘if you want peace, then work for justice.’
“It is an age-old maxim founded on reason, experience and truth that the only way for peace to reign in society is for justice to be seen to be served to all.
“We recall that Sunday Igboho emerged on the scene because he could not endure the daily menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the Yoruba localities for a very long time.
“The herdsmen would kill, maim and rape women at random. All entreaties to the presidency for swift action against the AK-47-wielding herdsmen appeared to fall on deaf ears.
“Then, Igboho, in a patriotic heroic zeal intervened to save the rural farmers, women and children from the daily menace of the herdsmen.”
“There is no gainsaying the military operations against the Boko Haram in the Northeast of Nigeria but the rate at which the herdsmen destroy farm crops, attack villages, kill the indigenes and forcefully occupy their ancestral lands is most callous, unconscionable and condemnable.
“This is where the intervention of the presidency is most needed; and of course, the Igboho paradox.”
The highest Igbo socio-political organisation believes that only justice will end agitations.
It added: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Prof George Obiozor has maintained the need for the presidency to embrace equity, justice and fairness in public policy formulations and execution; and that the various forms of agitation in Nigeria is an effect and not a cause in itself.
“The cause of the agitations is the obvious injustice in federal public policies.
“Measures should rather be taken to address the causes of the agitations. Only then can Nigeria have peace and sustainable economic growth.
“On the other hand, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho who wittingly or unwittingly are now seen as heroes by their people, are but the products of an unjust society.
“Therefore, a concerted effort in search of the Kanus and the Igbohos without addressing the basis of the agitation is an effort in futility. Otherwise other Kanus and Igbohos will sooner than later emerge.”