A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has kicked against the call for President Bola Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the southeast.
Omokri said a state of emergency would not achieve the desired results, insisting it would only aggravate issues and become a massive public relations success for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
Instead, he advised Tinubu to set up a Southeast Development Commission and spend the money he would have used to send soldiers into the zone to ensure rapid infrastructural development in the Southeast.
In a statement via his verified Twitter handle on Monday, the social critic advised that efforts should be made to convince Tinubu to release the incarcerated leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on the condition that he would give up violence to pursue his agenda.
While advising Tinubu not to inherit former President Muhammadu Buhari’s enemies, Omokri claimed that Kanu was a victim of the circumstances created by Buhari.
He wrote, “I am not sure the request for President Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the Southeast will achieve the desired results. In my opinion, it will only aggravate issues. Let’s look at the challenge holistically instead.
“What lovers of Nigeria ought to do to bring peace to the Southeast is to convince President Tinubu to release Nnamdi Kanu on the condition that Mr Kanu will give up violence as a means of pursuing his agenda and that he would promote any political or social policy he has peacefully and democratically.
“But if a state of emergency is declared, and soldiers and other security forces are deployed in the Southeast, it will lead to clashes with Mr Kanu’s supporters, who are not cowards and recreate and entrench the type of atmosphere that led to the emergence of Nnamdi Kanu, and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra movement in the first place.
“The state of emergency will be a massive public relations success for IPOB, and recruitment into the group will increase, along with anti-Nigeria sentiments amongst moderate Southeasterners.
“But if, instead, President Tinubu sets up a Southeast Development Commission and spends the money he would have used to send soldiers into the zone to ensure the rapid infrastructural development of the Southeast, not only will he reduce anti-Nigeria sentiment amongst the Igbos to the barest minimum, even he can expect massive votes from that region in future elections.
“If President Tinubu accedes to the request of those wanting a state of emergency, he could open a Pandora’s Box. And after repeating history, we will accuse history of repeating itself.
“President Tinubu should inherit General Buhari’s friends, but not his enemies. Nnamdi Kanu was a victim of the circumstances Buhari created. To solve the situation, President Tinubu should thus simultaneously create different and better circumstances.”