Falana: Buhari was flown to the UK because his life was in danger here


Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist, says President Muhammadu Buhari received medical treatment in the UK because he knew his life was in danger here.

Falana said this while responding to questions about the safety of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Asked whether Kanu’s life was in danger due to the invasion of his home in Abia State by soldiers, Falana said “nobody is safe in Nigeria”.

“When armed soldiers invaded Odi in Bayelsa State or Zaki Biam in Benue State, they killed scores of people. Everybody’s life in Nigeria is in danger,” he told Punch.

“Nigerians are shot dead in their homes by armed robbers or on the roads by soldiers or policemen or by armed herdsmen on their farms. So, it is a risky business to survive in Nigeria. Even President Muhammadu Buhari had to be flown to Britain for medical attention because his life was in danger here. So, nobody is safe in our country.”

Falana questioned the Kanu’s loyalty to the Biafra cause, saying it is an irony that Kanu holds British citizenship while campaigning for Biafra, just like Shettima Yerima, President of Arewa Youth Forum, who lives in Lagos but asked the Igbo to vacate the north.

“Mind you, the fellow [Kanu] and his wife and children are British citizens. He may have left the country to join his family in the United Kingdom,” he said.

“While campaigning for Biafra, he never threw away his British passport. I hope he has not run away so that he does not jeopardise the liberty of his sureties.

“It is an irony that Kanu, who is leading the struggle for the Balkanization of Nigeria, has dual citizenship, while Mr. Shettima Yerima, who gave the notice to quit to Igbo people in the North lives in Lagos.”


He noted that the Federal Government had always believed that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable,meaning anyone who threatens the nation’s unity has to be crushed or jailed.

He said: “In the corridors of power, it is generally believed that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. Therefore, anyone who threatens the unity of Nigeria has to be crushed or jailed.

“That was what led President Olusegun Obasanjo to charge Mujahid Asari Dokubo, Dr. Fredrick Faseun, Otunba Gani Adams, and Ralph Uwazurike and put them away in Kuje prison. (Former) President (Umaru) Yar’Adua charged Henry Okah with treason and detained him.

“President Jonathan charged Charles Okah with terrorism and put him away in Kuje prison. The regime ensured that his brother, Henry, was jailed in South Africa for threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria;”

    Falana also blamed the National Assembly for failing to perform its constitutional role of preventing the deployment of military to Abia State, noting that the constitution allows the President to deploy troops in aid of civil authority on the prescription of the National Assembly.

    “Since 1999, I have consistently called for the demilitarisation of the society. Hence, I condemned the military invasion of Abia State. I also criticised the proscription of IPOB by the Nigerian Army,” he said .

    “The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, spoke after I had made my comments. All the same, let the National Assembly, chaired by him, carry out its duty under section 217 of the constitution by enacting a law on military deployment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

    “That constitutional duty has not been carried out by the National Assembly since 1999. The constitution states that the President shall deploy troops in aid of civil authority as may be prescribed by the National Assembly. Beyond the issuance of a press statement, the senate president should sponsor a bill to actualise the requirement of the constitution.”

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