Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai has urged Nigerians to stop comparing reportedly slain Boko Haram leader Ababakar Shekau with Biafra agitator Nnamdi Kanu.
El-Rufai also said Kanu’s Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is not the same as killer bandits. The interview followed Kanu’s dramatic rearrest and the military raid on the home of Yoruba agitator Sunday Igboho.
El-Rufai made the comments while responding to a question on why the bandits and terrorists in the North are not being treated with the same swiftness agitators in the southern parts are dealt.
“I was very happy (when Nnamdi Kanu was arrested) because, first he jumped bail, jeopardising his sureties,” the Kaduna governor told BBC Pidgin.
“Secondly, a person that challenges the sovereignty and the authority of a state and incites violence; he refers to his own country as a zoo.
“This should be a message to all these separatists challenging the authority of the Nigerian State to be very careful.”
Asked about handling Boko Haram and bandits with the same swiftness, he said: “No! No! No! No! People are comparing apples to oranges.
“Nnamdi Kanu is the leader of IPOB, a proscribed organisation. He is identifiable, costably in constant communication and everyone knows where he is.
“Let’s take Boko Haram for instance. Shekau was in hiding and for the past 10 years and the military had been waging a war to get him.
“It is not like Shekau was in Saudi Arabia, sitting in one place, tweeting about the break up of Nigeria or asking Boko Haram to go and kill Helen and Nasir El-Rufai.
“Nnamdi Kanu is in one place while Shekau is waging guerrilla warfare. The insurgency is still going on and the federal government is not giving up.
“Regarding bandits, they are not centralized under one leadership. Who is the head of the bandits? Who is the equivalent of Nmandi Kanu with banditry?
“Bandits are just collections of independent criminals. It is a business for them. It is not a case of Nigeria must break up.
“I want to challenge anyone to tell me the central leader of bandits in he same position as Kanu.”