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Nigeria Is Making a Mistake Keeping Nnamdi Kanu in Prison – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has criticized the Nigerian government for keeping Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in prison. In a recent interview with Noble Nigeria, the esteemed literary icon emphasized that Kanu has the right to advocate for a separate Biafran nation, noting that he “was never accused of physically bombing any place or killing anyone.”

Kanu was extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria from Nairobi in June 2021, during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, with assistance from the Kenyan government. Since his return, Kanu has been detained by the Department of State Services and faces charges related to broadcasts alleged to have been made in support of terrorism.

Soyinka described the Nigerian government’s actions as tantamount to “kidnapping.” He stated, “It is a mistake keeping Nnamdi Kanu in prison, I believe. In fact, they kidnapped him.”

While acknowledging that Kanu’s rhetoric was inciteful, Soyinka argued against the manner of his arrest, saying, “His language was inciteful, yes, no question about that. But you don’t arrest, you don’t kidnap people. Buhari had an obsession with kidnapping people. That seemed to be his trademark. It is like he couldn’t fulfil himself unless he’s put somebody in a crate and brought them back.”

Soyinka further criticized the legal proceedings, pointing out the frequent delays and lack of substantial progress. “I think that politically speaking, if they have any real charges against him, well, since he is in their hands, they should try him. All these technical postponements, delays, and avoiding the basic issues, for me, is counter-productive.”

Soyinka’s remarks add to the ongoing debate about Kanu’s detention and the broader issues surrounding governance and human rights in Nigeria.

What do you think?

Written by Joe

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