A Nigerian security expert, Col. Hassa Stan-Labo (rtd), has stated that any further incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, would only make him more relevant and heighten the “heroship” over him.
He said this on Wednesday while featuring on Arise Television’s Morning Show programme, discussing the recent visit by the service chiefs to President Bola Tinubu over the week.
Stan-Labo urged the government to start a conversation with some agitating groups as it would go a long way to addressing security issues.
He said, “One major priority area in the southeast, which I think will cool off a great deal of grouse, is for us to bring out Kanu; that gentleman, pull him out. Stop this incarceration.
“I know some of his pronouncements or maybe lines of his actions and so on were offensive to the Nigerian state, and there was need to take certain actions.
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“But you see, Nigeria itself is a family; that’s my picture of Nigeria. When part of the family feel offended, as parents, as a father you sit the gentleman down or the child down and try to find out what the problems are.
“Can we start talking with Kanu? Can we start talking with IPOB? Can we start talking with other groups? I think a conversation with some of the groups will go a long way to addressing these issues.
“We must not apply the stick always, bring in the carrots sometimes, and let see the carrots and sticks diplomacy at play.
“I think we can do that, and if we do that, the situation in the southeast will be greatly doused.
“Frankly speaking, further incarceration will only make him more and more relevant, only heightens the heroship over him. He is a hero now, whether we accept it or not. And we made him the hero. We have made him a hero in the southeast. If he comes out now, he can contest governorship election in any of the states. Nobody will even ask him if he’s from the state.”