Publicity Secretary of Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze, Alex Ogboannaya, has slammed a coalition of Northern groups for placing a bounty on the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Editor Nigeria had reported that a coalition of 75 northern groups under the aegis of Northern Consensus Movement on Thursday, placed a bounty of N100 for anybody who could provide information on Kanuâ€™s whereabouts and aid his â€˜captureâ€™ by law enforcement agencies.
The NCM specifically accused Kanu and IPOB militant wing, Eastern Security Network, of masterminding the recent spate of attacks on northern communities in the South-East.
The move by the NCM came one week after the Igbo Elders Council alleged that more than 5,000 Igbo youths had been killed and over 10,000 others thrown into detention camps in the ongoing special security operation in the South-East.
The spokesperson for NCM, Dr Awwal Abdullahi Aliyu, during the press briefing, urged the United States, United Kingdom and European Union to facilitate Kanuâ€™s repatriation to Nigeria to face treasonable charges against him.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH in an exclusive interview, Ogbonnaya, said, â€œI congratulate the Northern Coalition Movement for thinking about Nigeria, but if they want to be fair, they should place N100m bounty on the heads of leaders of Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, ISWAP, and other non-state actors, who are known to be terrorists. As you know, Ohanaeze does not agree that the Indigenous People of Biafra is a terrorist group.
â€œNnamdi Kanu is not the issue here. There is a major issue of selective justice when you focus on one and leave another.
â€œIgbos all over have been complaining of injustice. No matter the millions of dollars placed on Nnamdi Kanu, it cannot stop agitation from the South-East.â€
He blamed the issue of agitations on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
According to him, when all the appointments are being manned by one section, then, that is not showing federal character.
â€œWhat the region needs are justice and peaceful dialogue with the Federal Government. If this is done, all these issues of agitations and secession coming from the region will cease.
â€œOur advice to the NCM is to direct their agitations to the appropriate authorities,â€ he added.
Also reacting, Senator Sani, who represented Kaduna Central at the 8th National Assembly, faulted the move by the NCM, stating that the group should have channelled their efforts towards ending the terrorism and banditry currently ravaging their region.
The former lawmaker made the remark on Friday in a post on his official Facebook page.
â€œWe have terrorists and bandits here up North, killing and kidnapping our people; why donâ€™t the northern groups place a price tag on the heads of their leaders instead of placing them on someone far abroad?â€ he asked.
Similarly, Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, while speaking to our correspondent on the issue, stated, â€œIs the Northern Consensus Movement synonymous with the whole of Nigeria? Or has it been proved that Nnamdi Kanu attacked any of them?
â€œI personally think that placing a bounty of N100m on Kanuâ€™s head is a form of misconduct on their part. In fact, it is arrogant and provocative. Kanu has only expressed his dislike for Nigeriaâ€™s current federal arrangement.
â€œI believe that it is the duty of the Federal Government to prosecute whoever has been accused of committing an offence of that magnitude. This so-called coalition lacks the right to place a bounty on anybody. No group has the right to do this, only the Federal Government; and it has to be through the proper channels.
â€œIf I can recall, there was a time when a number of these Northern groups gave the Igbos an ultimatum to leave the North. The members of these groups are miscreants and their actions are provocative. I maintain that placing a bounty of N100m on Kanuâ€™s head is unlawful.â€