Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, has warned that things may get out of hand in the country should armed struggle and insurgency start in the South-West region against the Nigerian state.
He said this on Monday night on his Twitter account in reaction to the attacks on a correctional facility and the police command headquarters in Imo State by unknown gunmen.
In a series of tweets, Fani-Kayode noted that prior to Monday’s attacks, some power players criticised the likes of him for being a friend to Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), especially when he called for restraint and advised for dialogue between the government of the day and IPOB.
The former minister said the powers that be may begin to see the wisdom in what he and others proffered then, but noted that it may be too late to turn the tide now.
He further warned that the worse will occur in the country if an insurgency starts in the South West under the leadership of Sunday Adeyemo, a Yoruba rights activist popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
He wrote: “..dismissing IPOB and @MaziNnamdiKanu and telling us that they could do nothing? They even vilified some of us for being his friend and for urging them to exercise restraint and enter into dialogue with him. I guess they are beginning to see the wisdom in our counsel now but sadly it is too late now.
“What is unfolding in the South East is bad enough but the worse case scenario will manifest itself when the South West starts its own armed struggle and insurgency against the state under @SundayIgboho1. We pray it never does but if that EVER happens Nigeria is finished.
“That is what really scares me and it will make any conflict that ever came before it, including the Biafran war, look like child’s play.”
While the country is still battling against ethnic tensions playing out in the guises of Boko Haram bombardments in the Northeast, Fulani herdsmen atrocities in the Northwest and other regional conflicts in the South-East and South-West.
The former minister called for restraint, dialogue and bridge-building between all sides.
But for this to be achieved, he noted that there is a need for the country to make concessions among agitators, recognise and affirm the rights of their struggles and start the process of restructuring.
“I call for restraint, dialogue, bridge-building, peace and the building of bridges between all sides before things get out of hand.
“The Nigerian state is badly stretched. She is fighting a war against Boko Haram in the Northeast and a war of attrition against the Fulani herdsmen in the Northwest. She CANNOT open a new front in the Southeast and crush IPOB and neither can she use military means to stop the agitation for Oduduwa in the Southwest.
“Things have gone too far for that. The only thing left for Nigeria to do is to make notable concessions, recognise and affirm the right of self-determination for those who wish to exercise it, begin the process of restructuring, hope for peace & push for mutual understanding,” he stated.