A former Senator in the 8th Senate, Senator Shehu Sani, has said the agitation for the breakup of the country by various interest groups was fuelled by systemic injustice and impunity by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Sani added that the Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and the Oduduwa Republic agitator, Sunday Igboho, were once believers in one Nigeria before the government became bad, irresponsible and divisive.
The Senator said as long as poverty, corruption and bad governance continued to grow and failure of government became apparent, the bandits and terrorists ravaging the country would also not drop their arms.
He stated these on Thursday in Abuja at a symposium titled, “Minimum wage, Unresolved National Question and Insecurity In Nigeria” organised by the Movement for a Socialist Alternative, Take It Back Movement, the Committee for Defence of Human Rights, the Socialist Party of Nigeria and the Democratic Socialist Movement, among others.
Sani said those calling for the breakup of the country were once patriots and nationalists who believed in Nigeria but could not bear the gross injustice in the system therefore resorted to agitation for self-determination.
He said, “The revolts and storms you see in this country today are reaping from what has been sown by the Nigerian political class. As poverty continues to grow and failure of government becomes apparent, you will not see bandits or terrorists dropping their arms; you will rather see people moving to the other side of the divide.
“Insecurity is not only a threat to the existence of the people but today one of the most important factors that is precipitating the agitation for the breakup of Nigeria.
“I am a believer in the unity of Nigeria and unity of Africa as a state (the United States of Africa). But there is a need for us to ask ourselves; most of the persons who today have become the face of separatism and breakup of Nigeria were once nationalists and patriots who believed in this country.
“From IPOB to Oduduwa group, from Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, they were believers in Nigeria. What went wrong? That is the question we should ask ourselves. Today the military is more interested in constructing event centres, shopping malls, universities and commissioning housing schemes. You can hardly see a policeman with a weapon without a tape. Sometimes, you will ask if the paper tape was part of Nigerian weapon system. This is how low things have become.”
He berated the Minister of Finance and federal government for not being able to justify how the sum of N1.08 trillion released to the Nigerian military within 28 months was utilised.
The Senator said it was laughable for a country to invest such an amount of money on security agents and still find it difficult to locate and rescue 30 abducted students in 55 days.
“Today in my own part of the country, the northwestern part of the country, bandits have become more than the authority and a state to themselves. Almost 60 to 70 percent in Niger State senatorial constituencies have been wiped out by bandits.
“They kill, they terrorise and displace people from their ancestral lands or they give you conditions of living under their authority and command. This is how the state has regressed and this is how the government has abandoned its people,” Sani added.