- Governor El-Rufai has reacted to the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed group, IPOB
- The Kaduna governor said he was happy about Kanu's arrest, noting that the IPOB leader has violated several laws of Nigeria
- El-Rufai added that the development should be a clear warning to other separatists that they will face justice, no matter how long
Kaduna, Kaduna state - Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has said he was happy about the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Asked about his reaction to Kanu's arrest during an interview with BBC Pidgin, the Kaduna governor said:
"I was very happy. I was very happy for two reasons. First, the man was on trial and he jumped bail. That in itself is a crime and no legal system should accept that. It doesn't matter whether it's Nnamdi Kanu or Nasir El-Rufai."
Kanu exposes Abaribe to danger
Governor El-Rufai added by jumping the bail, Kanu exposed Senator Abaribe Enyinnaya, the minority leader of the Senate (his surety), to danger and the likelihood of arrest.
He noted that if the judge wanted, he could have arrested Abaribe and put him in prison until Kanu was produced.
The Kaduna-born politician added that another reason he was happy about the development was because of the atrocities Kanu has allegedly committed.
"Secondly, a person that challenges the sovereignty of Nigeria, the authority of the state, and even incites violence, calling on people to burn police stations, to attack prisons and release criminals and kill other ethnic groups.
"He refers to his own country whose passport he carries to go to wherever he wants as a zoo. He insults every official. He has insulted me so many times but that's okay. We are the leaders, so we have to be insulted even by scallywags like Nnamdi Kanu.
"But how can you sit in the comfort of another country and be encouraging the killing of citizens, encouraging the likelihood of your own backyard to be a battleground. Who does that? If you are smart, you take battles to other places. You don't invite war to your own people.
"He has violated several laws of Nigeria and it was proper that the federal government follow the processes and used the INTERPOL regd flag system to bring him to justice. And he should be brought to justice.
"He should have his day in court. If he is guilty, fine. If he is not, he has insulted us for nothing, we will live with it."
Message to other separatists
Governor El-Rufai said Kanu's arrest is a warning to other secession agitators that it may take time but the government will eventually get them.
"I congratulate the federal government. I am pleased with this development and this should be a message to all these separatists challenging the authority of the Nigerian state to be very careful.
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"The government may be patient and follow due process, but in the end, you will face justice."
Legit.ng reported that Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, announced Kanu's arrest at a press conference on Tuesday, June 29.
He said the IPOB leader was arrested and brought back to Nigeria on Sunday, June 27, following the collaboration between Nigerian security forces and INTERPOL.