Nigerian govt’s move to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu ‘dangerous, politically unwise’ — Abubakar Umar

Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar
Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar

A former governor of Kaduna State, Abubakar Umar, has warned the Nigerian government over its latest move to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, for flouting his bail conditions.

Mr. Kanu is presently on bail after being charged with treasonable offences. He has dismissed the government’s plan to re-arrest him.

Mr. Umar said the move to re-arrest him is a ‘dangerous and politically unwise’ effort that could backfire.

The retired colonel and social critic said the Buhari administration should stop seeing Mr. Kanu ‘as a common criminal.’

The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra was granted bail late April, after spending 19 months in the detention of the State Security Service.

But he had openly violated almost all the conditions set for his bail by the Federal High Court, prompting Attorney-General Abubakar Malami to approach the court for a revocation of bail last week.

But Mr. Umar said the government’s move was not the smartest way out of the delicate situation.

”Mr. Kanu is a bitter young man fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen. His seeming militant approach is the result of the strongarm tactics with which the federal government deals with him,” Mr. Umar said.

He cited a quote by Usman Danfodio in which the famed Islamic scholar and founder of Sokoto Caliphate used to preach against inequity.

“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a kingdom is to give preference to one particular tribe over another, or to show favour to one group of people rather than another, and to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those that should be drawn near.”

Mr. Umar said Mr. Buhari had in his words and actions kept the people of South-east marginalised, a development that contributed to the seeming popularity of secessionist campaigns across the region.

“Many Igbo genuinely feel marginalised since they belong to the category of those who gave Mr. President only 5% of their votes and appeared to have fallen out of his favour,” Mr. Umar, who governed Kaduna from 1985 to 1988, said.

He also wrote extensively on the country’s unity.

“President Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria is a settled issue is a nationalistic wish and is no surprise coming from a veteran of a civil war fought to keep the country one.

“However, this does not take into account the mood of the nation as indicated by the growing agitations for self-determination, restructuring and many other similar demands. If indeed the president is able to ignore and silence those agitators, it will be a case of suspended animation.

“All indications are that Nigeria has become so polarised that it requires a strong personality like General Buhari to sustain its fragile unity. Needless to say that this does not bode well for the survival of the nation.

“Most Nigerians are convinced of the need to maintain Nigeria’s unity, cognisant of the enormous benefits all sections drive from a large, diverse and resource rich country.

“The federation also provides a security umbrella to all the federating units which enhance their survivability and prosperity. It is difficult to see how any of them can fare better out of the federation. But the fact that there are growing agitations for self-determination, restructuring and other similar demands speak gravely of the way the federation is being governed.”

Mr Umar said Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens feel they are getting a fair deal and when all its component parts are treated justly and equitably.

“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, [Deji] Adeyanju and other similar agitators might seem like felons or even anarchists. But as often happens over humanity’s turbulent history, appearances can be deceitful. One man’s terrorist could well be another man’s freedom fighter.

“In any event, despite what the security agencies might feel, there is nothing to fear from Mazi Kanu. He and his compatriots are people who love their country dearly and are willing to take a risk with their lives while blowing a whistle on some of our bad habits. It will be a tragic mistake to treat them as common criminals. It is evident that they are fighting a cause millions consider entirely legitimate.

“Until our democracy learns to accommodate dissent, vigorous, robust, even if inconvenient, it will be incapable of serving our common good,” he said.


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  • FreeNigeria

    Buhari is an unrepentant tribalist, bigot and above all very unintelligent. No sane person expects a demb azz president to achieve anything meaningful. look at the way herdsmen are killing and raping women. The walk around with AK47. When these murderers are getting a dose of their own medicine, I hope the FG stay deaf and blind too

    • Akiika

      Duh! tasteless muckraking!


    A LONE VOICE OF REASON BECKONS FROM THE NORTH……….those who have ears, let them hear !!

    And to the dictator of Aso-rock…….” He who the gods must destroy, they first make mad ”

    ….”And God hardened Pharoah’s heart for a reason “

  • Ajike Ole

    Well said. Kalu is a freedom fighter and a potential liberator of his people. The regime can continue to grand stand but it doesn’t matter. BIAFRA is now larger than life so can not be killed

    • Akiika

      SO BIAFRA people are in captivity? What does any other Nigerian have right to that you don’t. You have been unable to attain presidency because you play unwise and greedy politics. You hate any Nigerian that is not from your tribe. You guys haven’t figured this Kanu boy is making your chance of even being considered for VP harder?

      • 0tile

        You are sick in the brain. Stop bragging about your tribesmen being president of corrupt one Nigeria. The truth is that each time a Yoruba becomes a president it is because of tragic death, not by your merit. When Murtala Mohammed was assassinated, Arewa military goons made Obj head of state, no popularity contest. Again when Arewa people poisoned Abiola, the same Arewa rulers brought Obj out of prison and promised him 8 yrs of uninterrupted presidency provided he handed back to them at the end of the agreed 8 yrs. Is that democracy? This time around Odua people endorsed sick old illiterate Buhari with the hope that he will check and soon and they(omo Odua) will inherit the presidency again. Is this not true? When has a Yoruba been a president based on his merit and popularity? Pay Honorable Atiku back the millions he used to install Obj in Aso Dutshe. You hear?

        • 0tile

          I mean to write …Odua people endorsed sick old illiterate Buhari with the hope that he
          will check out soon and they(omo Odua) will inherit the presidency

          I know dozens of odua fraudsters and touts are waiting for me to make a little typo then they will blow it out of proportion saying – he is sick, he is incoherent, he is an illiterate. But they know better.

          • Akiika

            Kiddo! You better don’t add yourself to the list of people that have been wishing Buhari dead, that he has outlived. He is your president, deal with it! He won’t drop dead because you wish him dead.

        • Akiika

          MKO Abiola is a Yoruba man that clearly won an election but was denied his mandate, no thanks to a certain man (Francis Arthur Nzeribe, with his phantom ABN) from a certain tribe, used to scuttle the validity of the election. OBJ also won the election too. What is your argument here?
          How come the igbos cannot find themselves in alliance with any other tribe? except to be used as mercenaries.

      • Ajike Ole

        My brother an average and enlightened Igbo person does not give a damn about your presidency believe me. Nigerian presidency does not bring succour to people of the occupant of that office but only to individuals who are close to the occupant. Check out sokoto, katsina, kano,ogun and niger even bauchi and bayelsa fared from Tafawa balewa to buhari. What we want is soci- economic and political development, freedom to be whom we are without being killed or molested. An all inclusive merit based country that encourages excellence, entrepreneurship and enterprise.

        • Akiika

          How about you look inward and request socio-economic and political development from your Governors, local council chairmen and state representatives. Those are the guys denying you of development and basic amenities. They collect monthly allocations that they convert to private use. Your states are producing nothing!!! zero GDP!. If you focus on holding these guys accountable, you will be better off. BIAFRA republic will not change the looting ways of your representatives.
          BTW if the Igbos don’t care about the presidency position, so what is the marginalization cry over?

          • Ajike Ole

            Absence of development is what the cry about. Just like Lagos and Abuja were developed by their governors and local council chairmen. In essence the federal government has no role in the states so lets scrap it and go our separate ways. My states has no GDP? You are obviously an ignorant person and I wonder what you know GDP is. Enjoy

      • Ajike Ole

        Nigeria can’t offer Igbo all these outlined below

  • iwe paul

    Wise words from a wise man. I remember he bitterly opposed the annulment of the June 12 election by IBB and was later retired bcs of it. A courageous soul.

  • Reality

    Succinctly put. I don’t know we still have a reasonable person in the North.

    • MilitaryPolice01

      There are so many ‘reasonable’ people in the North, very good people, but unfortunately not most of them have a big platform to voice out like Colonel Umar. Let us not tar a whole people with the same brush.

    • 0tile

      Definitely there are good people there only that corrupt depots tend to overshadow the stars.

    • princegab

      Many of them bro. Umar stands out exceptional. The northern conservatives have a way of suppressing them. The good examples are the Aminu Kanos, Ibrahim Waziris, Balarabe Musas, Yar Aduas, Atiku and many more.

  • Du Covenant

    I do not understand why there is the desire to blame everything wrong in Nigeria today on Buhari?. If we truly have a proper judiciary in place and the system feels this clown has violated his bail condition, why blame this on Buhari for God sake?. If this was in the UK, US or anywhere there are serious institutions in place would you the President of these countries?. When are we going to learn to respect the laws of the land?. I do not believe the majority of Ibos are behind this failed young man so, let the judiciary show me how serious they are if someone runs fowl of his/her bail conditions and stop blaming Buhari.

  • Anthony Okonkwo

    You don’t believe most Igbos are behind Kanu, because you haven’t asked the question,” Are the accusations of marginalization, true?”, look at the millions following him. I live abroad but, I follow him as well. The accusation of him being sponsored by politicians, can’t be further from the truth. IPOB is everywhere Igbos live. I gave $300 last month, and my contribution is far from being high compared to some other people. IPOB has the funds to sustain a struggle and I feel bad for those that underestimate them. We are a tribe, not Boko Haram, a rag tag group. We are capable and determined. Umar is a wise man, wish everyone was that way, unfortunately that’s a wish…

  • 0tile

    @-Du Donvenant,
    Your reasoning capacity is very low. You said if this was in the UK, US… It cannot happen in UK, US etc except in an Islamo-fascist government like Buhari’s Nigeria. No UK or US leader ostentatiously discriminates against a section of their citizens and brags about it in this day and age. Buhari is an unintelligent primitive man, Nigeria is falling apart because of his lousy leadership.

    • Du Covenant

      You see, this is the problem with Nigeria. My comment is no longer available for fellow citizens to see what I said. All I am saying is, in the UK, US or any other country whose judiciary is build on the ‘English common law’, this clown will not violate his bail terms and still roam the streets. If we have proper judiciary in Nigeria, why should we blame Buhari for every single thing that happens in this country?, why are we so hypocritical and full of lies?. Let them put my initial comment back so everyone can read what I wrote. The truth of the matter is, there are a minority of Ibos that will NEVER see anything in Nigeria this is why they import sub-standard goods and medicines to kill fellow Nigerians!. I think we can do without the minority evil minded ibos.

      • 0tile

        If you are a Yoruba Muslim you shouldn’t necessarily reason like a fulani muslim terrorist. Your mantra of minority evil minded ibos is a direct quote from the hate song a fulani woman composed for you all. Continue hating while great Igbo people continue progressing. Your jealousy and hatred cannot stop them. Come back to Nigeria and see for yourself.

      • Akiika

        Except that this dude does not understand what you are trying to explain. All he understands is hating anyone that doesn’t speak his language and abusing anyone that disagrees with him. Buhari is even the reason he is gone so insane.

        • 0tile

          Deal with your jealousy. Odale omo Odua.

          • Akiika

            Gin-ni? what’s the logic here? what is the correlation between my last comment and your inference? A l’oo gbadun!

      • Akiika

        Have you now confirmed that @0tile is sick? did you notice the incoherence in his reply to your comment? Don’t waste your time, move on. He don dey crase tey tey.

        • marc umeh

          You guys make me sick. Your write-ups are dripping with that ” i am superior to you ” , attitude, that is the downfall of the blackman everywhere. You believe you know it all , yet you belong to the worst race ever created by nature. Nobody is calling for the arrest of those that gave orders for the slaughter of over 500 shittes and the continuing incaceration of their leader. Nobody is calling for an inquiry into the illegal detention of hundreds of nigerians as postulated by Amnesty International. Yet the bozos are worried about Nnamdi Kanu , a loudmouth who has not so far hurt a fly. He is asking for referendum and he is supposed to be wasted for that.? Read that bail condition and tell me where in this world has such a draconian condition been imposed on an individual.. Ask yourself why we cannot generate any respectable wattage of electricity since the discovery of oil in the 50s. Ask yourself why most communities have no decent water supply or medical care. Ask yourself why the president will run away from his country as fast as he can when he gets sick only to receive an overflowing welcome mat back home. Finally ask yourself why we are building a rail-road to Daura.!!!!
          We have to learn how to feel SHAME !!!!

          • Du Covenant

            I thought we were in agreement on another topic but, I beg to disagree with your assertions here. Why such hatred towards Buhari?. This man has always wanted Nigeria to be great for the same reasons we were in agreement. Nigeria started to be mismanaged from the first military coup to date. Had Buhari/Idiagbon presided over Nigeria for longer a period, we would have been a different country today. You can’t blame Buhari for the mess Nigeria is in at this point in time. For you to insist he is treated in Nigeria means you don’t wish him well, I feel terribly sorry about what my fellow citizens go through with our healthcare system. My heart bleeds for ordinary Nigerians with one healthcare challenge or the other. Ideally Nigeria should have been a much better country but for the greedy elite and Buhari is not one of those greedy elites in Nigeria.

          • Akiika

            I’ll just ignore your senseless and incoherent rants that has no bearing on the issue at hand. If my earlier comment made you feel inferior, then you may have comprehension problem. The part of Kanu’s bail he violated is that he shouldn’t be part of a gathering that is more than 10 people. Now, if that is too stringent for him, he shouldn’t have agreed to it.
            Rail road is built through Daura because it is part of Nigeria. So also is the other parts the railroad passed through. Really!!! that is a criticism? Daura people don’t deserve railroad because the president is from Daura?
            And…yeah it is shameful that the country cannot boast of a hospital equipped enough to treat the president.
            You guys are sick with your tribal politics and bigotry.

  • Maitama Tambari

    Dangiwa, don’t overstretched the respect your followers are given you because you sound like 45 who turns everything into Reality Show. If you understood democratic principles you wouldn’t have brought your challenges of life into the obvious issues. How many other Nigerians extraction can claim a capital asset in the South east? This is not because the zone did not vote for PMB but their collective beliefs of superiority over others. The issues on table had been on us since the 1940s to date. Hana Dangiwa?

  • Akiika

    Could it be that the SE governors sensed that Kanu may destabilize their source of loot (the SE states) and and resolved to placate him. I assure you he will be rearrested and nothing will happen. He is just a misguided irredentist. Kanu’s ways are criminal. You can’t be fanning the embers of war because you want autonomy. You guys only make noise on social media, you will do nothing when he returns to the prison where he belongs.

    • 0tile

      You sound like a senseless Yoruba Badoo miscreant.

      • Akiika

        Of course, i don’t expect any sanity from you. What have you contributed to the discussion other than silly childish rants? Yoruba this, Yoruba that, Hausa are illiterates,,,blah blah blah…yet you refuse to leave the southwest and the North, because of the economic benefit, Hausas and Yroubas continue to rule you the smart tribe. What a bunch of hypocrites! imagine if Yorubas and Hausas are as hateful as you guys and send you to your arid lands, how are you going to cater for your impoverished people back home?

        • 0tile

          You don’t live in Nigeria. Who are impoverished umu Igbo or begging Arewa yara? Judge for yourself, lying omo Odua.

  • OJpo

    THE ex governor should stop patronising IGBOS, and be objective and logic. when Jonathan was in government, IGBOS constituted over 50% of the personnel but other tribes did not go to war or stood shoulder to shoulder to Jonathan. What the HECK IS GO ON IN NIGERIA, OUT OF GOVERNMENT JUST LESS THAN TWO YEARS.
    IN my view IGBOS can NEVER becomes the President of Nigeria in nearest future with THIS TYPE OF behaviours and social attitudes.
    Believe me, no SANE MAN would trusted IGBO MAN with power.

    • Akiika

      Presidency too far, even VP, SP, Speakership they won’t get. Let them continue their hate filled rhetorics.

    • Ceejay Iloelunachi

      I don’t think the agitation is about political positions, they are seeking for a referendum. I think encouraging the govt to grant them their wish will go a long way in satisfying the bitterness you have for them.

  • Agba

    As a yoruba man,i said it many times in my comment that with millions of followers KANU has,no reasonable leader will sideline him,ABO ORO LA NSO FUN OMOLUWABI.The people arround Buhari will set Nigeria on fire,because they are still living in the past.

    • Akiika

      …and it’s just okay for him to do whatever he likes because his arrest will set Nigeria on fire? He will be rearrested for violating the terms of his bail and the only fire that will be lit will be e-fire by the e-noise makers. What happened when he was in detention for months? Those governors just called him to warn him because they negotiated his release. Don’t confuse the online Igbo noise makers with real igbo people on ground, they have nothing to do with this nonsense.

      • Agba

        Wait and see,before his first arrest,he is not popular like this,now he has millions of followers,than the five SE govts put together,let call a spade a spade.

        • Reginald Dandeson

          I wonder, my brother. I don’t know why a lot of people can’t remove the garb of emotions and sentiments and view our current challenges with some sense of introspection and wisdom.

  • Needam lele

    Abukakar Umar, your views are without doubt personal, myopic and constricted. Were you not in Nigeria, and as a military officer when armless, innocent Ogoni patriot and founder of movement for the survival of the Ogoni people MOSOP, late Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other compatriots were arrested by a corrupt regime and murdered. What sense is your hypocritical stance having? You ought to be sincere to be trusted.

    • Uzoma

      Are you then suggesting because he said nothing during the Saro Wiwa episode he has forfeited the right to speak today?

    • 0tile

      Are you therefore saying that since the vandals hanged an Ogoni man they must of necessity hang an Igbo man to make it fair?

    • marc umeh

      There is no logic to this type of reasoning . This is the opinion of a goat.

  • John Okoh

    This is the best speech I have ever heard from a true and honest politician from the North. Buhari should hire this man to be the liaison officer between South East and Federal Government that is threatening to re arrest Kanu who is fighting injustice by Buhari, government .How can the Fed re-arrest Kanu while Arewa youths are free to issue quit order to Ibos who are also Nigerians?

  • Rote

    This guy is violating the law (making himself an outlaw) by violating his bail conditions. If he violates his bail condition he should be re-arrested, heaven will not fall. No single individual or any ethnic group is greater than Nigeria. The best time for the Igbo to agitate for a better deal was during GEJ’s tenure but some of their sons and daughters in government then were busy looting the national treasury, they are the hardest hit with GEJ’s loss of power. Nigeria needs restructuring no doubt about that but not on Kanu’s myopic terms.

  • Reginald Dandeson

    It’s good to be positively courageous. Mr Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, you have always been a courageous man in the midst of daunting challenges. Give no damn about those who don’t know what stuff you are made of and would condemn your honestly truthful viewpoints.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Col.Abubakar Umar,[rtd] does not seems or sounds a nationalist Nigerian, like in the past as Nnamdi Kanu, who leads Biafra Republic, agitation with threat and instability against Nigeria- state, threatening to murderany security personnel that may attempt to arrest him even though! Nnamdi Kanu, is on bail-release strictly on some conditions spelt out by the Federal court judge, in Abuja, before he was freed-on-bail that has been complicating his pending felony crime charges by launching Biafra security service,. But, still Col.Abubakar Umar, is against his re arrest to avoid crisis.If Nnamdi Kanu, there would definitely be stability and peace than sleeping inside a roof with dangerous green-snake, inside its roof-top.It is high time Nigeria, leaders, must wake up from slumber and act with Nigeria-unity interest as priority.

    • Marizon24

      Will you force someone to remain with you even against the person’s wish. If there is any constitution in Nigeria in the first place, such constitution must have an agreement of all the “major parties” (ethnic groups) in the country which makes up the “Preamble” part of the same constitution. Having said that, there should also be a part of it that says how one group or more who feels they are no longer comfortable with the union can simply hold a referendum to get an affirmative consent of the majority of the citizens who fall under this group or groups as the case may be, so that they will go their separate ways in peace. The 1999 constitution was imposed on Nigerians by the military and it doesn’t serve the interest of all the entities that make up Nigeria. It needs to be abolished and do the needful!!!

  • Osakue

    Sentiments will take us no where, we have laws in this land there is a constitution. if what so called Kanu is during is right under our constitution fine but if not why is he not in jail why making this ordinary guy become a fake hero. Nigerians follow the law!!! We the people are our problems. We should stop pointing our finger to Aso Rock point that finger on your face we are our problems.

  • Kenny

    Well said Col. Umar. U spoke the truth Irrespective of whose ox is gored. Haters, ethnocentric and conscienceless people like @Osakue and @Drpat… can go to hell

  • patriotism

    No one is above the law, the law should take it course. We must learn to abid by our constitution, no more no less. The court shall decide on this and any related issues. If the court fills the conditions are unrealistic, so be it. So also, if the court decide to punish him for violating its conditions so be it.