The arrest of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho), both agitating for secession of Southeast and Southwest, respectively, has unearthed their high-profile sponsors, including a serving federal lawmaker, says President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kanu leads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) while Igbogho is the arrowhead of the Yoruba Nation Agitation Movement.
Making the revelations in his broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day, the President declared that those sponsoring violence and making hate speeches to instigate disorder would be arrested and prosecuted.
Restating that Nigeria’s “unity is not negotiable”, Buhari said the federal government believes that every grievance by any section of the country could be resolved through dialogue.
He, however, warned that any person or group found to be inciting violence would be arrested and prosecuted.
According to him, those who had caused serious chaos and violence did so through words, using lies, targeted hate speeches to propel violence, which had led to the death of many citizens and destruction of property.
He called on Nigerians to reject “evil people” who are determined to plunge the country into further crisis.
According to him: “Nigeria is for all of us. Its unity is not negotiable. And its ultimate success can only be achieved if we all come together with a common goal of having peace and prosperity for our nation.
“We shall continue to work on dialogue-based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security.
“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers, including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly.
“Fellow Nigerians, this is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youth to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property.
“As the so-called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left in the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.
“Government will continue, with greater level of peoples’ participation and in collaboration with our international partners, to improve the security architecture, reduce enabling environment for criminality to thrive and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing.”