Mr Femi Falana, a Human Rights Lawyer, has asked Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria to apologise to Nigerians for deploying Military to attack communities during his administration.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said this while criticizing the former President Obasanjo for asking President Mohammadu Buhari to have a dialogue with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. He said that during the tenure of Obasanjo, he shut down agitators.
He said this because Obasanjo had urged President Mohammadu Buhari to negotiate with Nnamdi Kanu to stop the secessionist agitation instead of sending troops to the Eastern part of Nigeria.
He said: I don’t see anything wrong in that (Buhari meeting with Kanu). I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it. I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him; people of his age and ask, ‘What are your worries?
In a piece sent by Falana to Punchng, which is titled ‘IPOB Proscription and Hypocrisy of the ruling class’, the article said that during Obasanjo administration, he did not try dialogue with the secessionist agitators of his time, but rather he detained and tried the leaders of the agitator’s campaigns.
He said: In calling for a dialogue between President Buhari and Mr Kanu, former President Obasanjo ought to have apologised publicly for the military invasions of Odi in Bayelsa State and Zaki Biam in Benue State ordered by him.
The basis of the call should have been explained since President Obasanjo charged Niger Delta militants, leaders of ethnic militias and separatist movements with treason, which led to their prolonged detention in prison custody.
Convinced that former President Obasanjo has realised that the criminalisation of such agitation did not achieve its objective, his suggestion for dialogue should be seriously considered by President Buhari and the South-East governors
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also talked about Former President Goodluck Jonathan on why he will call for a meeting of the council of state to resolve the crisis caused by the secessionist group, and he is asking why such meeting was not called during his administration before he deployed soldiers to Niger State to deal with militants.
He said: For goodness sake, why was such a meeting not called before soldiers were deployed in the Niger Delta to deal with militants? Did President Jonathan call any meeting before deploying soldiers all over the country for the 2015 general elections in defiance of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal?
Instead of suggesting irrelevant meetings, the root causes of the increasing loss of faith in the corporate existence of Nigeria by unemployed youths and other poverty-stricken people should be urgently addressed by the ruling class.
As a matter of urgency, the underdevelopment of the nation caused by the mindless corruption and criminal diversion of public funds by unpatriotic public officers on our hapless people should be addressed.
Falana urged the National Assembly to enact an enabling law as required by Section 217 of the Constitution on the deployment of members of the armed forces by the President.