A retired Army General, Maj.-Gen. Ola Ishola-Williams has lambasted President Olusegun Obasanjo for advising President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu.
He said Obasanjo should not be the one talking about dialogue, recalling that as president, he ordered assault on communities without adequate consultation.
“Dialogue should be the best preferred option in resolving crisis. But I prefer President Buhari having dialogue with Ohanaeze leaders and the South East governors, and other Igbo elders who are already making efforts at finding a lasting solution to the problem”, he said.
“Obasanjo’s advice is wrong. How can Buhari invite Kanu for dialogue? Dialogue for what? Buhari doing so would also amount to undermining ongoing efforts by Ohaneze and South East governors to find solution to the crisis.
“Obasanjo should keep quiet, if he doesn’t know what to say again or advice to give. With due respect to him, Obasanjo is a hypocrite.
“When he was the President between 1999 and 2007, did he invite anybody for dialogue or discussion before he sent troops to destroy Odi in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State?
“Obasanjo should not be taken serious; he is only playing to the gallery. I don’t expect Obasanjo to make that statement. His advice that Buhari should dialogue with Kanu is very wrong.
“By asking Buhari to meet Kanu, is Obasanjo legitimising the actions of Nnamdi Kanu some of which are very wrong?
“I’m highly disappointed with Obasanjo. As a retired General and former President, he shouldn’t have made that statement. Is Obasanjo trying to elevate Kanu above Ohanaeze leaders and the Southeast governors?
“The other time, that was how he went to meet the father of a Boko Haram leader, a known terrorist under the guise of helping the Federal Government to seek an amicable way to resolve the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Honestly, some of the actions often taken by Obasanjo and some of his comments do not show or reflect strategic thinking expected of a retired General and a former President.
“Again, asking Buhari to meet Kanu one-on-one for dialogue will also boost Kanu’s ego. He might even start seeing himself as Igbo leader or hero of a sort, which he is not.
“You can never compare Kanu to somebody like Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu or any other renowned, prominent Igbo leader. It is balderdash to ask Buhari to meet Kanu for dialogue. That task should be left for the Ohaneze leaders, South East governors and other Igbo elders. Kanu should not be it at all.
“Well, some people may want to say that Kanu commands a huge followership, yes that may be so. In history, we have seen men who had huge followership, with figures like Adolf Hitler but who are not diplomatic, reasonable, lack finesse and didn’t act with decorum.
“Nnamdi Kanu also falls into the category of these people. He should not be regarded as Igbo leader, he doesn’t have such qualities. He should not be treated or regarded as Igbo leader; he doesn’t merit it at all. Obasanjo should have reflected very well before making that statement,” Ishola-Williams told Sun.