Former ICPC Boss Justice Mustapha Akanbi (retd) has reacted to recent october 1 quit notice given to igbos in the North by Northern Youths.
The former ICPC boss, who spoke with Sunday Sun yesterday, blamed the founding fathers for pursuing ethnic agenda at the expense of national unity. “The beginning of our problem is that each of our leaders did so much, but did nothing to unite us. Azikwe died as Owelle of Onitsha; Awolowo wanted to lead Nigeria, he died as a regional leader. Same with Sarduana in the North,” he said.
He also expressed some deep reservations on the issue of restructuring, saying “I don’t believe in the spirit of restructuring or referendum that will divide the country in any form.”
“When the Arewa Consultative Forum invited me to their programme a few years back, I told them, ‘if your agenda for the day is to split Nigeria, I won’t be a part of it”, Akanbi added.
He further berated some Igbo leaders of thought for lending support to the agitation for the Independent State of Biafra. His words: “The leaders at various levels are not talking. Until the Arewa youths said that Igbo should go, who was talking when Kanu was talking of break up. I was disappointed in Soludo, a former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, talking of Biafra. What war have they seen? For me, I believe in the unity of Nigeria and I don’t want the country to split.”
“Those who saw the civil war will never like to see another war. Some of them were not born then. I was almost killed, while I was in Sokoto. There was massacre in Funtua, they mistakenly took me for an Ibo person because I left my heard bushy. They had even told my wife that I had been killed. What is finishing us is that we are not only disunited, we are too tribalistic, we discriminate in terms of religion, ethnics and so on.”
According to him, the only thing the Federal Government can to do to put the separatist agitations to rest is to be fair and just to all sections of the country. “I think a number of these agitations are being fuelled by calls for justice and equity. For us to surmount these problems, we have to begin to look at the root cause and address it. We must begin to govern the nation in such a way that will give each component unit a true sense of belonging. No part of this country should be treated as inferior. Those at the helm of affairs must begin to provide leadership because it is not just the Biafra agitation we have today,” he maintained.