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Nnamdi Kanu IPOB Leader

The Arena


Addiction is a dangerous pleasure. I had a guilty pleasure- Ice cream!

It used to blow my brain. That was in my teen. How I got hooked to Vanilla remained a mystery till date. It was the only cocaine I knew.

Our soft love hit the rocks when I hit 40, years ago. The divorce was entirely mine. I found out that life is a double pill. Sweet and sour. Man is in stages. Life is in phases. Completely out of my prime, Ice cream turned sweeter than sweet. Funny and fake on my adult lips.

Each time I watch Nnamdi Kanu on TV, I remember Ice cream – Sweet and soft. But sometimes he appears unreal! The self appointed head of Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) is my brother but I cannot hazard a guess if he loves Ice cream.

The other time at world Igbo congress, he demanded for guns and bullets. He is fixated with separatism. He sees self determination as the panacea to tearful Igbo marginalization by an insensitive senseless Nigerian government. But the truth is that no revolution comes only with nice sounding speeches. War is the ultimate way.

Read the Greek wars. Ask Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings. Arab spring in the Middle East cost blood. Irish people got freedom from Britain after a terrible fight from 1919-1921. Mandela with all his wonderful glory was not a dove. His words were the inflammable fuel that sparked revolts and reforms which dismantled monstrous Apartheid.

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Can Kanu with his effeminate looks, bred in stress-free London face bloodshed?

Born in the 70s after the civil war, can he recognize the sound of Ogbunigwe? Can he stand the shocking tremble of AK 47 rifle in his supple palms? Is he Nzeogwu, “Okwa Mgbor” – master of weapons? Or Ojukwu, the Odimegwu of all warriors who started Biafra but never consummated it? How old is Kanu? What does the young boy know about Biafran genocide which claimed my bright elder brother? Have we stopped mourning at home?

Buhari presidency. No I am not a fan. I still feel Jonathan. I am not Ijaw. I am just human. Choice. But no president will ever give Kanu and his supporters BIAFRA. Not even Rochas Okoroacha or Peter Obi as Igbo president. Mark it on your wall or better still your diary.

Biafra can only be, through war.

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Nigeria is not Russia. Even the 1990s disintegration of Soviet Union as a country was an accident of history. Ex- president Mikhail Gorbachev who caused the end of Russia with his policies of Glasnot (openness) and perestroika ( restructuring) never thought Moscow would fall that way.

Nigeria may not be a Zoo, as labeled in Kanu’s ridiculously funny metaphor but the structure is in a zig zag. Honestly Nigeria has fallen inside a deep well! African China pleaded and sang but no one took him seriously.

Today the Nation is so sick and tired, trapped in a precipice by her people.

Devolution of power, resource control and fiscal federalism make much sense. We must redefine public service, towards part time engagement and modest reward. Power is too attractive and political office too tempting. Most people are persuaded that corruption is the only bourgeoning business in Nigeria within the political space. You either enter or die poor!

Coming to the crux, Nnamdi Kanu has admirable traits – bold and brilliant with a no nonsense latitude. Biafra would be a beautiful goal, as a country given the Igbo mystique of grit and resilience.

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But the road to Uhuru is frightening…

What would be the acceptable map of Biafra? Who is a Biafran? What is Biafra? Will it be restricted to Ndi Igbo? Is my Ibo speaking community before the Niger, Biafra? Is the Ikwerre, Ijaw, Ogoja, Urhobo, Ibibio man and other minorities around the Niger Delta part of Biafra?

Kanu said Biafra is far beyond River Niger to these places and far afield but there are loud protests.

Will the Duara army general who became an overnight politician hand over the red, black and green “rising sun” flag of Biafra to Kanu after breakfast at Aso Rock?

Biafra! Nigeria! Oh yes, with my funky Ibo name and dialect, I can claim dual nationality and run good shows in Abuja and Enugu, rumoured future capital of Kanu’s country

Yet I shudder at Kanu’s iconoclastic expansionist ideologies. I like to dream but I hate nightmares.

Can Biafra be served as smooth as Ice – cream? Sweet and so soft!

What if war comes… ?

Written By: Norbert Chiazor, Former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council

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