A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticized two former presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, over their advice to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to tackle the tensions caused by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Falana called on Obasanjo to apologise to Nigerians over the deployment of the military, to invade communities under his administration.
Obasanjo had said: “I don’t see anything wrong in that (Buhari meeting with Kanu). I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it. I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him; people of his age and ask, ‘What are your worries?”
Reacting, the legal luminary said: “In calling for a dialogue between President Buhari and Mr. Kanu, former President Obasanjo ought to have apologised publicly for the military invasions of Odi in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State ordered by him.
“The basis of the call should have been explained since President Obasanjo charged Niger Delta militants, leaders of ethnic militias and separatist movements with treason, which led to their prolonged detention in prison custody.
“Convinced that former President Obasanjo has realised that the criminalisation of such agitation did not achieve its objective, his suggestion for a dialogue should be seriously considered by President Buhari and the South-East governors.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also faulted Jonathan, for calling for a meeting of the Council of State, to resolve the crisis caused by the secessionist group.
“For goodness sake, why was such a meeting not called before soldiers were deployed in the Niger Delta to deal with militants? Did President Jonathan call any meeting before deploying soldiers all over the country for the 2015 general elections in defiance of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal?
“Instead of suggesting irrelevant meetings, the root causes of the increasing loss of faith in the corporate existence of Nigeria by unemployed youths and other poverty-stricken people should be urgently addressed by the ruling class.
“As a matter of urgency, the underdevelopment of the nation caused by the mindless corruption and criminal diversion of public funds by unpatriotic public officers on our hapless people should be addressed,” he added.