Nnamdi Kanu And His Fol­low­ers

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - EDITORIAL -

SIR: I have noth­ing against the leader of the In­de­pen­dent Peo­ple of Bi­afra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. I see what he is do­ing as a child of cir­cum­stance. Some­body has to cre­ate an at­mos­phere in which peo­ple can see that things are not right when they are not right. That was what the lead­ers of the Bokoharam (BH) did when they formed their com­mu­nity. The com­mu­nity be­came an af­front to the main­stream Is­lamic com­mu­nity that rev­els in con­trol­ling peo­ple and wealth im­pe­ri­al­is­ti­cally; an af­front not in the sense of vi­o­lence, since BH wasn't vi­o­lent, but nat­u­rally a thorn in the con­science of the im­pe­ri­al­ists. Hence they be­came restive and seek­ing ways of smash­ing the com­mu­nity. The for­mer Pres­i­dent, Oluse­gun Obasanjo (OBJ), saw no rea­son to at­tack BH, even though Femi FaniKay­ode, a for­mer min­is­ter , in­di­cated there was pres­sure on OBJ to do so.

Why should a sane man at­tack a peace­ful com­mu­nity, com­pris­ing peo­ple of all ages, as well as wives, hus­bands, chil­dren, bach­e­lors, spin­sters, etal, for God' s sake? But that was what Is­lamic im­pe­ri­al­ists wanted and that was what OBJ'S suc­ces­sor did, tak­ing un­due ad­van­tage of the pres­i­dency of Umaru Musa Yar’adua, later com­pounded by Yar'adua's suc­ces­sor and for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent, Good­luck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, and pur­sued vig­or­ously by the cur­rent Pres­i­dent, Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (GMB). Hence those prais­ing GMB for re­duc­ing BH don’t know what they are talk­ing about. Where is the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for at­tack­ing BH in the first in­stance?

Un­der Yar'adua, I didn't un­der­stand the is­sues in­volved. We were all led to be­lieve that BH meant “West­ern ed­u­ca­tion is evil,” rather than the preva­lent Bokoharam (fraud com­mit­ted through pen on pa­per). When I came to un­der­stand the points at is­sue as bor­der­ing on Is­lamic im­pe­ri­al­ism, aided by Jonathan's in­or­di­nate am­bi­tion and bel­liger­ent spirit, I started call­ing for di­a­logue, which only ex­posed Jonathan and GMB as ir­re­deemable en­e­mies of peace and progress. GMB keeps say­ing Nige­ria's unity is non-ne­go­tiable be­cause he wields the scepter. Some "Yoruba lead­ers" who want to con­trol their own states (Fayose in Ek­iti; Mimiko from Ondo State, etal) also op­pose a re­gional gov­ern­ment that will deny them lo­cal im­pe­ri­alisms, and so pro­posed a re­struc­ture that will not tam­per with state/lo­cal sta­tusquo. Thus, if you don't have Kanu, what else will you have?

Rochas Oko­rocha has joined Sen­a­tor Bola Ahmed Tin­ubu's As­so­ci­a­tion of House and Shop De­mol­ish­ers, and some other Igbo rulers are not dif­fer­ent from the "Yoruba lead­ers" who don't want any­body to tam­per with their lo­cal estates. Igbo leg­is­la­tors in the na­tional as­sem­blies, like their coun­ter­parts from the rest of Nige­ria, are more in­ter­ested in the money they are get­ting than how to sta­bi­lize Nige­ria. Nev­er­the­less, a sit­u­a­tion in which some fol­low­ers of Kanu are wield­ing sticks and look­ing for Hausa peo­ple is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and rep­re­hen­si­ble. There are more of Igbo peo­ple else­where in Nige­ria than the re­verse. Half a word is enough for the wise. Prof Oyeni­ran Abioje, PHD, Univer­si­ty­ofilorin.

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