Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, says he would not wage a war against separatist group, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), because their agitation is a legitimate and democratic cause.
Speaking during an interview with Daily Trust, Obi said he would dialogue with the separatist group to restore peace in the South-East, if elected president in 2023.
Obi, who had been promising to run a democratic government if given the chance, said the proscribed group had been agitating legitimately.
“In our South-East, it is a simple thing, I will dialogue, I will discuss, it is a democracy, and in a democracy, you govern by consensus,” Mr Obi said in an interview with the Daily Trust. “If anybody says he is not happy, you call him and you sit him down and discuss with him.”
He added, “People agitate in my house, my wife, my children. If you say to me you have lived with your wife all through and you people have never quarrelled, then you are not married. You disagree and settle it – that is agitation.”
Asked whether he shares the federal government’s position in designating IPOB as a terrorist organisation, he said “I don’t want to go into that place. I have told you, I will dialogue with anybody, anything they like, let them call you, I will meet and we discuss.”
The Labour Party presidential candidate posited that there are also agitations in other international countries, noting that Nigeria should not be an exemption.
“I have said it times without number, Nigeria does not have more agitation than Brazil, if you want I will show you countries that have had agitations in the past, whether it is Brazil, Mexico, whether it is this,”, Mr Obi argued in the interview granted the Abuja-based newspaper.
IPOB is a separatist group that is leading an agitation for an Independent state of Biafra, particularly in the South-East and South-South part of Nigeria.
The IPOB was founded in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, a British-Nigerian known for his advocacy of the Biafran independence movement.
The group has repeatedly been accused of masterminding deadly attacks against individuals and bodies against their agitation, including security operatives, traditional rulers, and politicians among others.
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