Kanu, Anambra Guber and the rest of us


In time past, Nnamdi Kanu, an
Umuahia, Abia State prince, was just
popular among those who listened to
Radio Biafra, in which he was director.
His voice was unmistakable on the
radio station, as he talked about the
marginalisation of the Igbo and the
neglect of the South East by successive
governments, both federal and state.
He was acerbic in the delivery of his
message, hitting government officials
and prominent people in the Federal
Government and South East below
the belt. He talked about Biafra and
amplified the agitation for a sovereign
state for the Igbo.
Today, Kanu has become became a
national tendency and phenomenon,
a folk hero, leader of the mass of
the Indigenous People of Biafra
(IPOB) members and a man with
some authority. Like the man in the
Bible who told Jesus Christ that he
was “a man under authority,” who
could command subordinates to do
something and it would be done,
Kanu could make his followers
behave or misbehave. He has
become a champion by the accident
of being arrested by the President
Muhammadu Buhari government.
Now Kanu issues directives and
makes declaration, even on things he
has no bearing. Recently, Kanu and
IPOB pronounced a “death sentence”
on the Anambra State governorship
election scheduled for November
18, 2017. The IPOB leader and his
group have decreed that there would
be no election in Anambra, except
the Federal Government conducts a
referendum on Biafra. Funny enough,
there was no time Igbo, who are
going to vote in Anambra, sat down
to decide that election would not hold
in Anambra and appointed Kanu to
make an announcement. This means
that Kanu has arrogated to himself the
power he does not have. Saying that
elections would not hold in Anambra
or any state in the South East, until
the conduct of a referendum, smacks
of arrogance and an attempt to take
away the agency of the electorate,
who only could decide whether to
vote or not. It is a joke taken too far.
If election does not hold in
Anambra, in whose interest will this
be? Certainly, such a mistake will not
benefit Kanu or IPOB. It will not also
be in the interest of Anambra people.
If the election does not hold, it will no translate to no government in Anambra.
The President has the right to declare a
state of emergency and appoint a sole
administrator, who could come from
anywhere. This is what Kanu, by his
action, is unknowingly setting up.
I have been wondering if those in
IPOB are really thinking. They are
talking about Biafra and forget that
projects require those who would
drive them. Has Kanu and IPOB ever
pondered about this: Were the late Dim
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu
not in government or the military
governor of the Eastern Nigeria, would
the first Biafra have been possible?
It was partly because Ojukwu was
in a position of authority that Biafra
happened. However, he did not go
it alone. He consulted and met with
influential people in Igboland, who
eventually gave him the mandate to
proclaim Biafra. Now, Kanu and IPOB
are not in government. They are not
consulting Igbo people, in the true sense
of it. They do not have the mandate of
the Igbo to do some of the things being
done. And they want to stop an election
that would put an Igbo man in power,
an office that would be of benefit to the
Igbo people. Where does such thing
happen?
Kanu and IPOB have put themselves
on the spot. He and his group have
indirectly set themselves up for
downfall. They have not learnt from
history and, therefore, are committing
the same error of some other Biafra
agitators and groups before them.
A time was when the leader of the
Movement for Actualisation of the
Sovereign State of Biafra/Biafra
Independent Movement (MASSOB/
BIM), Chief Ralph Uwazurike, was
Another
Wembley win for
Wenger so popular that he decided to declare
“Biafra.” At the time Uwazurike nursed
the idea of declaring “Biafra” and
hoisting the flag, he did not reckon with
the consequences when no Republic
of Biafra came into existence by his
declaration. He did declare “Biafra” in
Aba, raised the “rising sun” flag, but all
these were of no consequence. Biafra
was not born. He remained a Nigerian
and in Nigeria. By his action, whatever
joker he had was lost. The government
and others who took him seriously saw
that everything as grandstanding. He
played his “last card” too early in the
game.
Uwazurike may not believe this, but
that was the beginning of the fall of the
fire in Biafra agitation, as carried out by
MASSOB. When the Anambra election
holds, what happened to Uwazurike is
likely befall Kanu. And it will be nunc
dimitis for this Umuahia boy’s dream
of being a prime mover. However, it is
not too late for him to make an amend
and remove himslef from the Anambra
election brouhaha.
Actions that will do the Igbo in are
not good for anybody. The South East
lost out in the last census because of
senseless directives by agitators of Biafra
some years ago. For the avoidance of
doubt, when the Federal Government
conducted a census, MASSOB declared
that the Igbo would not participate
and called for a boycott. Owing to this,
many Igbo did not participate in the
census. The census enumerators, out
of fear, did not go to every parts of the
South East. The consequence is that
many Igbo were not counted. And the
figures eventually recorded for each of
the South East states do not reflect the
population. Kanu and IPOB’s position
on the Anambra election is tantamount
to what MASSOB did about the census.
A time has come for Kanu and IPOB to
draw a line between Biafra agitation and
doing things that would hurt the Igbo.
This is why Igbo leaders have to engage
Kanu, Uwazurike, IPOB, MASSOB
and other pro-Biafra groups. The Igbo
leaders have to draw these agitators
closer, with the view to moderating
their conduct, to avoid actions that
would be inimical to the development
of the South East. Ignoring them and
leaving them on their way own would
certainly turn out to be much more
disastrous than engaging them. I do
not see anything wrong with the South
East Governors Forum or Ohanaeze
Ndigbo, for instance, inviting the Kanus
and Uwazurikes of this world to their
meetings. This is not to glorify them,
as some people may think. It will be to
guide them and curtail their excesses, in
the interest of all Igbo.



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