A human rights lawyer and activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has lampooned the seeming weakness and sympathetic approach of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government towards bandits and its apparent ruthless anger and mercilessness on the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.
Ozekhome was reacting to the news of the arrest of Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic, in a statement on Tuesday, insisting that the Nigerian government is only chasing shadows by dissipating energy in pursuing agitators instead of concentrating efforts at tackling escalating insecurity and banditry in the country
He accused the Buhari government of abandoning AK-47-wielding armed bandits, Boko Haram terrorists, and other deadly insurgents, including ransom-taking kidnappers, while running after after Igboho and Kanu.
The statement reads in part: “The Federal government appears supersonically effective and efficacious when it comes to arresting and repatriating dissenters and challengers of its morbid nepotic and sectionalistic government.
“The same government paradoxically appears abysmally weak and hopelessly helpless when it comes to fighting AK-47-wielding armed bandits, Boko Haram and other deadly insurgents, including ransom-taking kidnappers who are almost kidnapping the very heart and soul of Nigeria on a daily basis. The Nigerian Nation appears captured by non-state actors.
“To me, this lopsided template demonstrates acute intolerance and ambivalence. It shows self-contradiction.
“It shows an inclination towards enforcing laws against certain people, against certain classes of people, while at the same time turning away the other eye in enforcing laws against the other preferred and pampered set of people.
“Such does not make a nation grow. Such does not make democracy work. Such does not build confidence and inclusiveness, the very reasons for the Igbohos and Nnamdi Kanus of this world. Such does not enjoin patriotism and the building of nationhood.
“The same government that is suddenly effective in the case of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho has never been able to capture kidnappers, armed bandits, and Boko Haram that are daily ravaging us, turning Nigeria into a sprawling field of human carnage.
“They take ransom. Innocent schoolchildren are paid for. Where is the same government when kidnappers are demanding that the parents of kidnapped children should now be feeding them in their kidnap dens?
“But, it suddenly becomes effective and audacious when it comes to arresting and even ambushing and attacking in their very homes, self-determination activists and crusaders.
“I am not impressed with this at all. The government may thump its chest for temporary gains. But, does this solve the problem?
“I see this as merely pursuing butterflies while the house is on fire.”