The immediate past Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr Adebayo Mutalubi Ojo, has bared his mind on the military invasion of the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and its likely implications for the country.
According to the legal luminary, he does not see any problem in all the scenario, only that it shows that Nigeria is gradually becoming a failed state.
In an interview with Nigerian Tribune, he said he does not see anything difficult in all these things, explaining that “the man called Nnamdi Kanu was once arrested and tried before a court of competent jurisdiction and he was granted bail. If they any issue with him, let them go back to court and get him arrested again and arraign him for another offence or offences that he may have committed. We are the one creating all this noise about him. I am talking about the Nigerian populace and the government.
“And, again, with due respect to the government, and with all sense of humility, it appears as if this government did not know what to do. They are becoming clueless like the government they succeeded.
“Look, it is the Nigerian government that has dignified and glorified Kanu with what he is now. To me, the man is in the mould of some other people we have across the country who are just glorified touts and thugs that are being celebrated. For me, they should be dealt with appropriately, according to the laws of the land. If truly Kanu has committed any offence, like he once committed and was arrested and the case is still in court, let us allow the court to run its full course. Why deploying the army to his compound, with armoured tanks a whole military personnel? It is like they want to kill an ant with a sledge hammer. It is not done because there are copious legal provisions to deal with persons of Kanu’s caliber and status.
“This guy, the MASSOB leader, Ralph Nwazuruike, was there before him now. Where is Nwazuruike today? He has faded out. Even Gani Adams of the OPC and the other man, Dr Frederick Faseun, they too started like Kanu, but where are they today? There are ways to deal with this type of what I will call political insurgency. These are all political contractors.”
He said that the training of security outfit by the militant group poses great danger for the country.
“It is a threat. But what are the functions of the police and the DSS? Kanu lives in Abia State and we have a Commissioner of Police there; we have a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in his area; we have an area command in that area and an office of the DSS in the state. Why can’t they deal with him? He is not a ghost; he lives among his people there. I watched the video clips, as shown on Channels Television, I looked at all the people that surrounded him. These are miscreants; I didn’t see any reasonable human being among them. Can’t the government deal with them in accordance with the law?”
He said the deployment of the army to Kanu’s area is not in tandem with the law.
“I don’t agree with that action of the government. It is not in tandem with the law. Do you know what you can deploy the military for? It is to quell insurrection and to protect the territorial integrity of a country. Even if the military wants to go on their show of force, they should do it in the open, on the main road and not to enter somebody’s compound. With what the government did, you are making the man to feel big.
“Are you now telling me that the police cannot deal with him? It is only if the police are saying ‘we have been overwhelmed; we need support; we need back-up’, then they can make recourse to the military to come and assist them. That is why, in some states, we have joint task-force and these special task-forces which are often a combination of the police and with the military in the background. No state constitute it unless it has been approved by the president because soldiers are not meant to be seen in towns; they should be in their barracks and they are meant for special instances, like when there is war and the likes, such as we have in the North East where the Boko Haram menace is a full-blown insurrection.
“How many are the members of the IPOB that they will now overwhelm the police and the civil defence corps? What necessitated the deployment of the military? There is break down of law and order there. Are we now saying that, if tomorrow, somebody here in Ibadan rises in the form of another Kanu, we should also deploy the military when we have the Commissioner of Police who can just order his men to arrest such a man and the following day, he is in court, if he has committed any offence?”
On the increasing agitations across the country, he said that “one must admit that if you look at the whole country now, agitation is all over the places. We have it in the South South, South East, South West, and Middle Belt and even in the entire North. This shows that some things are not well with us in this country. People are clamouring for resource control, restructuring and some other things. Why can’t we sit down and negotiate? Let us look at it that even the present structure we have is a faulty one. Can’t we sit down and see how we can make it work? If it cannot work, how do we go about it? It is wrong for anybody to say that the Nigerian unity is not negotiable. Even marriages are negotiable; if your marriage is not going on well, you call your partner and look at it: ‘look, do we make this thing work or do we go our separate ways or do we even dissolve it totally?’ So, there is nothing in this life that is not negotiable.”