Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra has been the centerpiece of the news for over one year.
Ever since his arrest in October 2015 and his subsequent trial for treason amongst other offences, his popularity and sympathy of the average Igbo man to his cause has spiked, but may have now reached the end of the graph and facing diminishing returns such that passion has been displaced by the recent utterances of Kanu and the same people that agitated for his release will heave a sigh of relief if the bail which he currently enjoys is revoked.
Prior to his bail some months ago, Mazi Kanu was seen as the hope of the Ibo. In him, the Biafran ideal was made flesh. This got the people so sentimentally attached to his ordeal. There were reports of prayer vigils being organized by various groups for divine intervention for Kanu to be released from the Kuje Prisons. A lot of political manoeuvre by the Ibo intelligentsia and elite led by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo was deployed to secure the release of the man Kanu. Indeed, the agitation was beyond just the Ibo. Deji Adeyanju, a political activist and his associates were teargassed and severally arrested by the police when they marched on the streets of Abuja to demand for the release of our man. There was pressure from everywhere.
Thus when in April the bail was finally granted by the Federal High Court presided by Justice Binta Nyako, there was wild jubilation and ecstasy. It was the expectation that now out of detention, Kanu would provide the leadership to realize the dream of a self reliant and egalitarian society he so eloquently sermonized about from London on Radio Biafra.
Alas, all the actions and activities of Kanu these past few weeks after his release has betrayed the hopes of all and sundry. He spoke so disdainfully of former President Goodluck Jonathan, calling him a failure of immense proportion and all sorts of abusive names. He proceeded on an undisguised offensive against former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom Kanu not only insulted, but went ahead to issue out threats against the international statesman old enough to be his father. According to Kanu, Obasanjo and his family will be wiped out for daring to challenge him according to Kanu. This attitude of Kanu is not only embarrassing and disdainful, it is one that runs against the grain of the Ibo tradition which emphasizes the respect of an Elder by the younger.
Kanu proceeded to cast aspersions on the Ibo political class whom he denounced as the slaves of the Hausa-Fulani political establishment. Worthy of note is the fact that it was this same political class that ensured that a critical component of Kanu’s bail was fulfilled, namely the production of a surety who is a Senator. As though not done, Kanu has proceeded against the cream of the Ibo society, namely, the leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo whom he described in the most derogatory terms too sour to be restated here. He denounced the body as incapable of speaking for the Ibo whilst assuming himself to be the new Ibo leader. It is interesting that this was the same August body that agitated for his release from jail. It is said of the fool who after eating a bowl of fufu felt that he could challenge his chi to a fight. Kanu has shown himself as the warrior who assumes that all his enemies are now dead and so can afford to kill his medicine man.
To cap it all, Kanu basking in the euphoria of being the self-acclaimed new Ibo leader, recently unilaterally issued a decree that there will not be gubernatorial election in Anambra state except his call for referendum is honoured. By this action, Kanu has exposed his hypocrisy and shown his political inclination. It is the agreement of all critical minds that Kanu is only dancing to the tunes of some political paymaster who faces political insecurity and would do everything to truncate the electoral process. Nnamdi Kanu must be told that his agitation for self determination is not at large. Same must be factored in to the Universal and fundamental Rights of the people of Anambra state to vote and be voted for. More So, self-determination begins from the individual and no person especially one not elected have a right as Kanu has done to dictate and issue proclamations for another.
It is understood that the Federal Government is only being careful not to exacerbate and escalate an already tense situation, else it is beyond argument that Kanu has severally flouted all the conditions of the bail which he currently enjoys. Nnamdi Kanu has now become the tsetse fly perching on the scrotum which must be removed with extreme care. Even the same people that agitated for his release are now calling for his re-arrest.
While the majority of Ibos in secret wish that the necessary political will be summoned by the Federal Government in order to remove the nuisance that Kanu has constituted himself to, the radical elements amongst Ibo youths who still hold Kanu in some awe and esteem think otherwise. Herein lies the dilemma. As Shakespeare once said, to be or not to be, that is the question.
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