As Nigeria marks its 61st Independence Day Anniversary today, October 1, 2021, the President as expected made a speech to address issues affecting the country on national television to mark this year's anniversary. Indubitably, the celebration is one that reminds every Nigerian of the struggle of nationalists who worked hard to free the country from the shackles of colonial rule.
However, since Independence in 1960, the country has witnessed its ups and downs, and in recent times, the situation of things in the country has taken a new dimension because of injustice and marginalisation of a certain section of the country. The above submission has led to several groups agitating for self-determination instead of preaching unity and tolerance among citizens.
Photo Credit: Vanguard
As a matter of fact, there has been clamour for Biafra in the South East led by the embattled Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba nation in the South West led by the embattled self-acclaimed Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho. Both leaders of separatist groups in the country are under investigation by the Nigerian government and the Department of State Services, DSS for various crimes leveled against them.
Photo Credit: Vanguard and Punch
On that note, being part of his Independence Day Anniversary speech, President Muhammadu Buhari has made bold statements about the sponsors of these agitators. As gathered in a report by Channels TV, the President revealed that the recent arrests and investigation of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind them and their groups. President Buhari pointed out that the federal government is doing everything possible to go after financiers of separatist groups.
Interestingly, it was revealed that a serving member of the National Assembly (whose name was not mentioned) was a major sponsor of the aforementioned embattled individuals. According to the President in the report, the sponsors of these agitators abandoned their national leadership positions for their selfish gains, they don't preach unity but misleading the youth to conduct criminal acts that have caused more harm than doing us any good. He was also emphatic about the fact that his administration would continue to collaborate with international partners, concerned individuals and stakeholders to combat all forms of criminal activities and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing.
Photo Credit: Channels TV
Against this background, this article seeks to discuss two major steps the federal government should take after President Buhari revealed sponsors of separatists groups in the country. In that regard, the federal government should;
First, the government should create professional intelligence and investigative group other than the DSS to monitor the sponsors of self-determination groups. The setting up of a special intelligence unit to monitor activity of separatists sponsors would give the government more chances of getting them to face the full wrath of the law. This intelligence force should be made to investigate and gather intelligence about these individuals that have misled so many young people into criminal activities that almost tore the country apart.
Indubitably, so many lives have been wasted in mindless and senseless violence across different parts of the country as agitation for self-determination has become "the new normal." As a matter of fact, this development should be "nip in the bud" to avoid impending doom. Enough should be enough for these people who are trying to cause havoc and disunity among citizens of the country. It is arguable to say that if an elected officer at the National Assembly could sponsor agitators against the unity of Nigeria, it is a disservice to the country and such an individual should not go without any punishment.
Photo Credit: The Sun Nigeria
Second, from the foregoing, sponsors of separatists groups, if found guilty, should face life in prison as punishment. This would serve as a deterrent to others who may have nursed such intentions. Although citizens have a role to play in keeping the country as one indivisible entity, the federal government is responsible for the unity and protection of the country's national integrity. As such, any individual, no matter how highly placed in the society, should face the consequences of dragging the country into chaos and anarchy by funding separatists groups and their leaders.
Having said that, it could be concluded that the government of President Buhari should not stop at identifying sponsors of agitators, but should take immediate action to halt this from continuing. Just as former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan once said "No blood of any Nigerian is worth spilling" because of one man's ambition. At this point, government should do what is needed to resolve these recurring issues once and for all.
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