ANALYSIS: Is Buhari’s “war” option the best solution to Biafra?

By Amako Nneji November 18, 2015 10:13

ANALYSIS: Is Buhari’s “war” option the best solution to Biafra?

Pro-Biafra agitators have continued to step up their protests and President Muhammadu Buhari has opted for the “war” option as opposed to extending an olive branch.

General Officer Commanding, GOC, 81 Division of the army, Isidore Edet, issued a threat on Monday November 16, while speaking with journalists at the Officers Mess in Lagos.

“Let nobody make any mistake because within the ambit of the law, we shall apply the ROE to the fullest.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 1999 (as amended) vide Sect 217 (2) (c) provides that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) shall suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authority to restore order when called upon to do so by the President and Commander-in-Chief.”

Also speaking with journalists on the same day  in Jos, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 3 Armoured Division, Hassan Umaru stated that the constitution of Nigeria empowered  the Armed Forces to suppress insurrection  to restore order when called upon.

Earlier, the President through his spokesman Femi Adesina exclusively told Post Nigeria Nigeria that the Biafra agitation was a “non-issue” while dismissing any form of dialogue.

This was swiftly followed by a call from the Senate asking for the most non-confrontational approach to the matter. Abu Ibrahim on Thursday, November 12, shared his fears that using aggression to solve the issue would only end up in a huge mess.

“You either use coercion or doing the right things by trying to convince people through creating jobs, providing services for everybody,” he said.

With the Biafra protests gathering a feverish pitch, political watchers have asked “Can Nigeria’s Army fight two wars at the same time?”

The war on Boko Harm (which some believed to be a secessionist group since they want to control the territory they have captured) and Biafra secessionists will be a big ask.

There is already pressure to beat Buhari’s December 31 deadline and piling on any form of Biafra duels is far from ideal.

According to a security expert, “No nation can survive two civil wars.’’

The mismanagement of the Boko-Haram issue led to the massive mess it is today.

It has resulted in the death of thousands of Nigerians, and the destruction of properties, including the United Nations, UN, office, and the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.

Besides, the economy of North Eastern Nigeria has been paralyzed.  The abduction of about 200 female students of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, without any trace till today, has remained a mystery and a slap on Nigeria’s sovereignty.

Buhari himself barely escaped a bomb attack on his convoy on July 22, 2014 in Kaduna.

Buhari in recognition of the fact military action might not halt Boko Haram attacks against the Nigeria State on Thursday, June 18, 2015, as part of his Ramadan message to Muslim citizens called on his “misguided brothers” (the insurgents) to  sheath their sword and embrace dialogue.

    “As we make collective efforts to bring to a permanent end the menace of the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin countries, let me use this auspicious occasion to appeal to our misguided brothers to drop their arms, embrace peace and seek a better understanding of Islam during this Holy period and beyond,” he pled.

Before he bid for the 2015 Presidency, he was nominated by the insurgents to be the official intermediary between the ungodly sect and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thus his arrest of the Biafra Radio Director, Nnamdi Kanu and the subsequently fatal clashes with protesters is an indication the Presidency may not be taking any lessons away from the unsavoury Boko Haram experience.

With disgruntled youth in the affected regions lending their voices to this potentially deadly cause with each passing day dialogue cannot be overlooked.

The President has maintained that Nigeria is “indivisible,” but there is rhetoric and there is also putting in effort to maintain this indivisibility.