Speak in his favor and you are labeled an agitator and dammed by the campaigners of one Nigeria. Speak against Kanu, and his followers (The IPOB) will bring down the roof on your head with a barrage and coteries of blackmail and insults. Then, try playing smartness by sitting at the edge Or in the middle of the raging arguments, pertaining whether Kanu should be rearressted or not and you are called names unprintable.
So which way or path do we follow on the Nnamdi kanu conundrum, the Biafran question? Do we continue maintaining the status quo and tensions keep mountain over the fate of Nigeria, in the face of the pervading quest for its balkanisation by the forces pulling it’s strings aparts which IPOB epitomizes or do we tread the difficult path of re-arressting him or a total clamp down on the IPOB for calmness in the nation?
There are already trending phrases to this effect in the social media which read: “arresting Nnamdi Kanu was the biggest mistake the Buhari administration ever made; releasing him was the worst mistake the country ever made since it’s existence; and rearressting him (for prosecution, as the government is already planning for flouting his bail conditions) would be the mother of all mistakes by the government if it ever dares to do so. ”
To this end, various igbo organizations have also come out to speak stoutly against the latest moves by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami who until last week, approached an Abuja High Court while urging it to return Kanu to prisons following his violation of the bail conditions granted him. The Igbo bodies which included Ohaneze Ndigbo, MASSOB, IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu himself in their separate press releases maintained that the bail conditions granted Kanu was in flagrant violation of his fundamental rights and ought to be disregarded.
While The Ohanaeze said in a statement signed by its President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo titled: “Attorney-General of the Federation, Please respect your oath of office” as was captured in the Sun Newspapers publication of 25th August, 2017 that “they were surprised that the Attorney General is prepared to contest the superiority of the provisions of the constitution on fundamental human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of association over an erroneous judicial proclamation violating those rights;” MASSOB and IPOB had in their separate press releases threatened to resist attempts by the Federal government to rearresst Kanu with all their might.
Be it as it may, Nnamdi kanu himself, the newly crownd ” Lion of the East” as well as “Ochiagha Ndigbo” while in Aba, Abia State, just yesterday during a visit to his members had roared loudly like the lion he is called, “I’m a Biafran and we are going to crumble the zoo (being Nigeria, emphasis mine). Some people who are not educated said that they’ll arrest me, and I ask them to come. I’m in Biafra land. If any of them leaves Biafra land alive, then know that this is not IPOB.” wrong.
As If that was an icing on the cake, he continued his message to Aba people as was reported by the New Telegraph of 27th August, 2017- “Tell Buhari that I’m in Aba and any person who comes to arrest Nnamdi Kanu in Biafra land will die here. I’ll never go on exile, I assure you…“Some people talk about restructuring, are we doing restructuring of Nigeria now? Are we doing fiscal federalism? Are we doing devolution? What we want is Biafra! “Forget all the nonsense they write about us.” wrong again.
And then on Anambra elections, Kanu opened the hell on his doubters and people who believe he was joking, which I am one of, thus: “We are going to boycott Anambra State election. After Anambra 2017, in 2019, there’ll be no elections in Biafra land. Signed and sealed. My message is that there’ll not be election in Biafra land ever again until they give us date for referendum,” as was captured by the New Telegraph Newspapers of same day.” wrong, wrong and wrong.
Kanu’s followers on the other hand follow him in a cult-like-manner. They swim and sink with their boss and spiritual model, even in the face of death. They face death from the barrel of gun, just as they armlessly confront the military and other security personnel without caution. They lock their shops and abandon their daily cravings, while matching on the streets of various states in the East all in a bid to relaunch a country Achebe said ‘was.’
And what’s more? They face live-bullets everyday and die in their numbers. And yet resurge and take to same route while agitating for their dream country, Biafra Republic. A nation only God knows if it will ever come or die like other agitations in other climes for similar quest. But Nnamdi kanu is staunchly optimistic it will come and any time soon as he recently told his crowd.
“Our veterans here, your own message is that you’ll see Biafra alive not in death. “The message of heaven is what I bring to you. Don’t be afraid. The plans of our enemies are not going to be actualized,” he told the crowd that gathered to welcome him in Aba, Abia state, as was reported by the New Telegraph Newspapers of 27th August, 2017.
You may take everything away from Nnamdi kanu but not the unification his arrest, detention and release has brought to Igbo land. Of a fact and reality, Igbos now speak closely in one voice as they have collectively agreed in the marginalization of their zone by the present administration of Buhari. Since the emergence of APC as a ruling Party, the region has never had any thing close to what we now have in terms of oneness of mind and unity. Leading to reasons why we are all shouting restructuring at the same time with little or no dissenting news whatsoever. That is by the way anyway.
Now, talking about kanu and his agitation, the United Nations as well as ECOWAS already provided for self determination in their various charters. And Nigeria been a member of the two international bodies is obliged to obey the laws guiding it’s relationship with its citizens and other member countries so to say as regards referendum and rights to self determination. While in Nigeria, such understanding and action is a treasonable case as the Constitution or purveyors of it say.
So which do we take – The international charter or the superiority of the Nigerian constitution as a sovereign Nation? That is a case for lawyers both at the International scene as well as the local scene to interpret for laymen like us anyway. But which ever way, the rights to life of individuals here must be respected irrespective of whatever ideology held in such quarters.
The Federal government must take note and consider listening to voices of its citizens more than carrying a live-rifle against them. They should engaged protesters in conformity with the standards and rules of engagement acceptable internationally, just as they ought to ensure they hear every dissenter out and find a way of reaching out to his or her problems.
They should note Kanu’s rearresst is not the most important decision to undertake right now the country is bleeding from all sides. Instead, government should spare it’s muscles it is about flexing with IPOB for Boko haram, herdsmen and other vices plaguing the Nation. We must learn to move an inch away from troubles while focusing our strength on things that will reposition the country and relaunch us as a force on the planet.
Nnamdi kanu and IPOB must on the other hand, hear the voice of reason and follow their agitation for Biafra in a manner that does not present them as breaching public peace. They must make their voices heard in a societally acceptable manner and avoid plunging the Nation in another avoidable civil war, as the scars of the previous war still loom large in all our minds.
ONE More word for kanu: Mazi, Biafra can still be actualized as you believe without shooting a bullet and without shedding more blood of the Igbos if the right measures are adopted without compromise. That said. You can still realize your dream of seeing a new Republic here without daring the Nigerian forces for a showdown as that endangers the lives of many who are already jittery of what becomes of them when the Nnamdi kanuphobia metamorphosis into a military hunt for your jugular.
Meanwhile and worthy of note, Kanu: Anambra’s elections must not be stopped or boycotted for any given reason under this planet as that exercise is as important to Ndigbo as the air they breath. Coming from a region with only five States among other regions in Nigeria with six States each, Ndigbo must not be shortchanged again in Anambra come November, 2017 as “exclusion from power is an exclusion from the benefits of power.” “A word” they say, “is enough for the wise.”