Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has kicked against the breakup of Nigeria along ethnic lines.
Several groups including the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu and the Yoruba Nation agitators have campaigned for both Biafra and Oduduwa Republics.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, Falana said he has a fundamental disagreement with secessionist groups in the country.
“Personally, I am strenuously opposed to the campaign for the balkanisation of Nigeria because I believe the masses of our people are oppressed by the ruling class and imperialism.
“To that extent, I have a fundamental ideological disagreement with those who are calling for the breakup of the country along ethnic lines.”
Speaking further, the senior lawyer explained that amid the agitations in some quarters that the nation should split, the Federal Government owes it a duty to convince the agitators by reposing confidence on the corporate existence of Nigeria.
While noting that it is not a criminal offence for some persons to make separatists demands, Falana said the current administration should respect human rights in line with Article 20 of the African Charter on Human Rights.
He added, “If a group of people decides to fight for the breakup of the country, the duty of the government is to try as much as possible to convince them to repose confidence in the corporate existence of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the two major separatists – Igboho and Kanu – have been arrested and are facing trial both in the Benin Republic and Nigeria respectively.