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Soyinka: FG kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu, his arrest was wrong

Wole Soyinka, Nobel laureate, says Nnamdi Kanu was kidnapped by the Federal Government. Kanu was on Sunday extradited to Nigeria to face trial after he jumped bail and fled the country in 2017. Speaking with BBC Pidgin on Monday, the literary icon said there would be an uproar in the country if the truth of how Kanu was arrested becomes known.

 

“It’s not for me to tell the president to prepare itself because it’s going to be a huge squawk when the truth about how Kanu was arrested comes out. People are alleging this or that.

 

That is one phase whether Nigeria has acted outside international law,” Soyinka said. “The second issue, however, has to do with Kanu’s conduct outside the nation.

 

There’s been a level of hate rhetoric which has been unfortunate, from Kanu. Hate rhetoric is an issue that can only be judged by the laws of any nation. “Was it right ‘to have been kidnapped?’

 

You can say intercepted as much as you want but I think Kanu was kidnapped. That is wrong internationally and morally.” Commenting on the reactions that have trailed the swiftness with which the Federal Government arrested Kanu, the Nobel laureate said the Federal Government has not shown the same eagerness in going after bandits and insurgents.

 

“The government cannot wash itself clean on what seems to be a kind of comparative energy in pursuing the destabilised forces in the nation,” he said. “If we take ourselves back, once when I threw a challenge to Buhari, what I expect from a true leader is to issue an order, give a deadline that any illegal occupant of any villages, farms is given 48hours to quit after which the mighty forces of the nation will be unleashed on them. It was ignored.

 

“Years later, he came to say ‘we will respond to these people in the language they understand’.

 

This is what I expected  him to have said years ago, at the beginning of the insurgency. “Their leadership – the Miyetti Allah – should have been arrested years ago, long before IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation.”

 

He said rather, the Miyetti Allah group has continued to act unchecked while the Federal Government has refused to “mount the same energy against them”. “So people are right to say there has been an unequal and irregular approach to security and enforcement in this nation,” he added. He advised the Federal Government to stop the blame game and take action.

 

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