Leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum has faulted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu for using ‘zoo’ to depict Nigeria.
Secretary General of the sociopolitical group, Anthony Sani said, although, Kanu and his fellow agitators have every right to fight for their freedom but using foul languages to describe a whole nation is unheard of and the consequence could be war.
Sani alleged that Igbo leaders have tacitly endorsed hate speech by the IPOB leader because of their silence over Kanu’s excesses.
The ACF chieftain noted that Kanu has severally used provocative languages against Nigeria and its leaders and should be allowed to face the law.
“He (Kanu) even used the word ‘zoo’ to depict Nigeria and in blithe disregard for the fact that this same term was used in Rwanda to cause ethnic cleansing with dire consequences. There are countries where agitations for the split have taken place without the resort to the use of foul language and hate speech as we have experienced with IPOB. We have Catalonia in Spain; Quebec in Canada; and Scotland in Britain. Why should there be hate speech that is capable of incitement?
“You would note that Nnamdi Kanu was arraigned on charges of treasonable felony and was granted bail on medical grounds with clearly spelt out conditions which he accepted of his own volition. But Kanu has observed the bail conditions more in the breach. This has tested the will of the Federal Government which has gone to court to either enforce the bail conditions or have him rearrested.
“But some other people believe that Kanu’s re-arrest will make him a political factor in the polity. To this group, it is better to ignore Kanu, while some others are of the view that the Federal Government should dialogue with Kanu and bring about a political solution. But, do we now reward bad behaviours with recognition and concessions by playing up Danegeld in Biafra? To me – unless it is impossible – I would prefer that the law should take its course.
“Hate speech is a serious issue that is capable of splitting the country through avoidable conflagration or war. Yet, Igbo leaders have tended to tacitly endorse the hate speech by the Indigenous People of Biafra through their reticence until very recently – and despite their knowledge of dire experiences of civil war,” Sani told Punch.