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EDITORIAL: Why Yoruba Nation agitators must be treated as terrorists

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Any government that lacks the power to produce actionable solutions to the problems of the governed has failed. This is no brainer. A higher percentage of administrations ingrained in shameful propaganda produce mediocre results and if the said governed wants to do something reasonable about the state of affairs, they should enable constructive criticism, pick it, and run with it.

Criticism, when adequately weaponized, is the hub of administrative success. That’s why it’s hard to hear of any progressive democratic administration that didn’t thrive on the back of constructive criticism. Frankly, before any administration could be termed successful, modern and representative enough; there should be an institutionalized systemic diehard opposition before and beside it. A staunch opposition must be on ground to monitor, caution and redirect erring leaders. But this is not always the case, especially in third world nations. Democratic leaders loathe constructive criticism, and anyone insistent on giving some does that at their peril.

The moment leaders tremble at every little criticism and begin persecuting opposing voices, that is the same moment the essence of democracy was defeated. It ought to be the moment they should pause, reflect, and change direction. Renowned leaders who succeeded during their time paid attention to wise counsel. These leaders never missed any opportunity TO LEAD. And they never spoke from both sides of their mouths.

This EDITORIAL will be looking at the brazen attempt by some Yoruba Nation agitators to seize control of the Oyo State Government Secretariat, Governor’s Office, and House of Assembly complex. An audacious move which has been described by both security and political experts as coup d’etat.

There was so much tension in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State on Saturday, when masked agitators in military uniform invaded the government facilities and positioned themselves at strategic locations, in an attempt to hoist their own flags. It took the intervention of police operatives from the state command and other anti-crime agencies in conjunction with officers of the Nigerian army, 2 Division to demobilise the irate agitators.

Over nine of the agitators according to the spokesman of the Nigerian army, General Onyema Nwachukwu were arrested. One Semi Automatic Pump Action rifle and ammunition, including other dangerous weapons were recovered from them. According to Onyema, troops are still trailing other fleeing members of the divisive group.

It’s very important to state categorically that the attempt by the Yoruba Nation agitators to forcefully seize government facilities with guns and other dangerous weapons, amount to a terrorist attack. Moreover, any attempt by ethnic jingoists to play down the criminal action of the agitators will not hold ground because the federal government of Nigeria did not waste time in decimating the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) even when they were only holding peaceful rallies with mere flags.

The administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari descended brutally on the flippant leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu and thousands of his supporters calling for the restoration of the defunct Biafra Republic. After Kanu’s illegal rendition from Kenya in June 2020, the government filed terrorism charges against him. Till this very moment, the self-defeated Afara-Ukwu Prince is still battling to prove his innocence in the court.

However, as the government was so quick to cut down IPOB into pieces through a Federal High Court in Abuja in 2017 after it granted an interim injunction proscribing the activities of the group, the same treatment should be accorded to Yoruba Nation agitators. After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

For the sake of national security, Yoruba Nation self-determination group should be immediately proscribed by the government and their members treated as terrorists before they go completely berserk. Also, their leaders should be invited for questioning by security agencies. It will be wrong for the government to treat them with kids glove while their counterparts (IPOB) are been battered with sledgehammer on all fronts.

Conclusively, patriotic Nigerians are keenly watching to see how President Bola Tinubu will treat the agitators. The body language of the President and security agencies over the failed coup on Saturday in the next few days will further define the sincerity of one Nigeria mantra.

Kalu Nwokoro Idika is a writer and investigative journalist.

Mr Kalu is the Chief Editor of NewsBand Newspaper.

Kalunwokoroidika@yahoo.com

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