The Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB separatist crisis being spearheaded by Nnamdi Kanu is bigger than the activities of the deadly terrorist group Boko Haram, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has said.
No fewer than 20, 000 people are believed to have been killed by Boko Haram since the Islamist sect started its attacks in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, especially and partly in Abuja and some other parts of the country about eight years ago. Thousands of others have been maimed by the sect that was also responsible for the infamous abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirlsin April, 2014.
More than 100 of the girls are still in the sect’s custody. Thousands of others abducted by the sect remain unaccounted for.
Speaking in Owerri on Monday night during a meeting with Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, when he led a truce team of North governors to the state, Shettima said the threats posed by the Nnamdi Kanu-led secessionist IPOB to the nation’s survival are far bigger than those posed by Boko Haram. He said it was for this reason that he had to leave the killings going on in his state behind to join Governor Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) Simon Lalong (Platueau) Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina) and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), on visits to Abia, Rivers and Imo, seeking peace. “Only this morning, 25 people were killed in my state via explosions carried out by three suicide bombers, but I have to be on this mission because of what it means to the nation,” he said.
He noted that the huge population of Nigeria makes it imperative to avoid anything that could lead to war among its tribal groups, wondering which country would have the capacity to accommodate Nigerian refugees in the event of another civil war.
He said: “What we wanted to forestall actuallywas a mass movement of Nigerians from one part of the country to another. It was a very dangerous signal.