ABUJA – The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly condemned President Bola Tinubu’s volte-face on dialogue with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other marginalized groups in the country, saying such inconsistencies raise serious questions about the credibility and sincerity of leaders.
The group recalled that President Tinubu had on November 17, 2022, at a Town hall meeting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, pledged to dialogue with IPOB to address their legitimate concerns in the interest of the unity of the country.
At that gathering in Owerri HURIWA noted that Tinubu had “Emphasized the non-negotiable unity of Nigeria while acknowledging the existence of “painful grievances” that required resolution through peaceful means.
However, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group said it cannot reconcile the view of the Nigerian leader in Owerri and the one he expressed recently in Kaduna stating the disposition of President Tinubu is patently moderated by political opportunism.
“President Tinubu’s recent remarks at the passing-out parade of Nigerian Defence Academy Cadets in Kaduna revealed a stark departure from his previous stance. He declared his administration’s commitment to tackling secessionist elements and counter-insurgency efforts without mentioning dialogue or peaceful resolution. This inconsistency raises serious questions about his credibility and integrity as a leader.
“What made matters more concerning was that this U-turn came at a time when the Federal Government was in clear breach of a binding Court of Appeal judgment. On October 13, 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja upheld the appeal of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of IPOB, stating that the Federal Government had violated both local and international laws by forcefully rending Kanu to Nigeria. The court voided and set aside the terrorism charges against him, rendering them incompetent and unlawful.