The Presidency has knocked the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, for allegedly supporting the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and for using “foul language against those in leadership”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in an article on Thursday night, said Abaribe should be “cooling his feet in prison” after he “stood surety for someone bent on dismemberment of the country”.
The Senator and two others had stood as sureties for detained Indigenous People of Biafra leader, Nnamdi Kanu before he was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on April 25, 2017.
Abaribe had run into trouble when Kanu jumped bail the same year and fled Nigeria because of the alleged extrajudicial attempt on his life in Abia in September 2017.
The detained IPOB leader is facing terrorism-related charges before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja and the case had been adjourned to October 21, 2021, for continuation of hearing.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari during Independence Day Speech revealed that a National Assembly Member is among those sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu.
Adesina in the piece titled, ‘Weighty Matters About Our Country’, made a veiled reference to Abaribe saying, “Some people incite violence through words or actions, thus exacerbating the security challenges we have. You wonder where they are from, and why they would further stoke a burning fire with incendiary materials.
“There is one funny Senator who talks about the mismanagement of our diversity as a country, yet he daily uses foul language against those in leadership. He stood surety for someone bent on dismemberment of the country, and when that one vanished, and he should have been cooling his feet in prison, the Senator still spews rubbish. Chief ‘mismanager’ of our diversity.
“And the President had words for him and his ilk, who exist round the country: “We are ready to arrest and prosecute all persons inciting violence through words or action. Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering…
“The seeds of violence are planted in people’s heads through words. Reckless utterances of a few have led to losses of many innocent lives and destruction of properties.””
The Presidential aide also said the Federal Government must have biceps and must be strong, and show strength for it not to be taken for a ride or become “a king sitting on an empty throne.”
Abaribe, who represents Abia South in the red chamber, was deputy governor to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu from May 29, 1999 till March 2003.
The Senator has been one of the vocal voices from the South-East and has been unsparing about his criticism of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
In a television interview on Tuesday, the Senator had lamented that the people of the South-East have been grossly marginalised and unfairly treated by the All Progressives Congress government.
He had said the Buhari regime might crush secessionist agitators but it would be difficult for the government to crush the ideology until the current administration address the root cause of the problem and embrace dialogue.
Abaribe had also said aside from IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, there are more than 30 separatist organisations in the South-East zone of the country.
When asked whether he was a supporter of IPOB, Abaribe had said, “I am a supporter of the cries of our people against injustice…I stand with my people.”