Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to dialogue with secessionists groups in South-East rather than using force on them.
This is even as the Senator representing Abia South says apart from from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), there are more than 30 separatist groups in the region.
Abaribe made the statement on Tuesday when he was interviewed on Channels TV’s ‘Political Paradigm’.
When asked if he is an IPOB supporter, he said: “I am a supporter of the cries of our people against injustice…I stand with my people.
“One of the biggest problems that the media also has is that they tag everything IPOB in the south-east.
“In the south-east, you won’t believe that there are more than 30 different separatist organisations – IPOB, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), there are so many and each one of them comes back to the same thing.
“Why you are having separatist agitations everywhere today in the West, in the south, in the south-south, is that some people are unable to manage our diversity, that is just the fact.”
Abaribe said the Buhari administration may crush secessionist agitators, but it will be difficult for the government to crush the ideology — not until the administration addresses the root cause of the problem and embrace dialogue.
He said the government tags IPOB members as terrorists, but “beautifies” perpetrators of insecurity in the north as bandits.
“The single most dangerous part is this influx of non-Nigerians with military-grade weapons sweeping across our country, going into the countryside and committing mayhem, but no effort is made to profile them, no effort is made to ensure that there is a counter surge against them,” he said.
“All that has been happening is the attempt to reach an agreement. How do you reach an agreement with a terrorist who is coming from outside the country, trying to take over?”