The former vice president of and now the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has promised to negotiate with various agitation groups like the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB if elected president in 2023.
In Atiku’s words, dialogue is the solution to the unrest in the country because Nigeria cannot afford another civil war to stop the agitation for a separate nation coming from the southeast.
The former customs staff and now presidential candidate under the platform of PDP said this on Sunday when he and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, appeared for a presidential town hall meeting on Channels Television.
He said, “The IPOB issue in the southeast is basically, as far as my understanding is concerned, about the realization of Biafra. Is it possible for Biafra to be realized today? How? By negotiations or by going through another civil war, which we can’t afford?
“So I believe we should be able to negotiate with the agitators from the South-East as far as the issue of Biafra is concerned. We believe what they need is more autonomy as far as their southern region is concerned. That is why we propose a restructuring of the country, by which we mean the devolution of new powers and resources. After all, there was Eastern Nigeria in the First Republic, and they developed at their own pace and with their own resources.
“In other words, restructuring, devolution of powers and resources, you know, should be the solution to the various agitations. The agitations are from different perspectives. To my understanding, one of them is political and political I’m the sense of how the Southeast, you know, participate in power sharing in the country, and we are in a democratic society. There is no single geopolitical zone in this country that, on its own, can achieve political power without crossing the Niger or being in alliance with other geopolitical zones. I think this is what they should begin to think, Okay, how do they partner with other parts of the country to secure political power, you know, for their own interests or to protect their own interests? I think these are the way to go as far as the agitations for IPOB are concerned.”
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