I was to say the least, not jolted when the news of the reemergence of Nnamdi Kanu, self-acclaimed Rabbi and leader of the Independent People Of Biafra (IPOB), a seperationist group agitating for the reemergence of the Republic of Biafra reached me. I always knew the maverick was in hiding and was not killed or in custody of the Federal Government as was wrongly insinuated by fellow mavericks, who saw immense political capital in Nnamdi Kanu’s disappearance and sought to cash in on it.
True to his type, he gave a world wide broadcast, where he called for a boycott of the general elections in the SouthEast and South South regions, shocking a number of PDP enthusiasts who seem to be way too over themselves over the fleeting illusion of an Atiku win in the forthcoming election owing to his offer of the vice presidential slot to the SouthEast region.
This immediately earned Kanu the ire and frustrations of a number of political jobbers, unleashing a fevered and mean debate by these jobbers who had been hoping to cash in on the bad blood generated between the Buhari APC led administration and Kanu’s questionable agitation, detention and later exile. These jobbers, hoping to gain from the Biafran gamble, funded and somewhat encouraged Kanu’s foolhardy actions with the shadowy intentions of using the struggle to their inordinate political advantage. They cheered Kanu on, visited him prison and made cat calls at Buhari and any other person who questioned Kanu’s motives as well as tactics.
We may recall that a former minister of the federation even acted as Kanu’s driver, while another and much more garrulous fellow than the former, who had earlier bashed the Igbo’s as greedy grabbers and had, at several occasions, taunted the Biafran struggle of 1967 to 1970, did a summersault typical of his person to describe Kanu as an Ojukwu and Azikiwe rolled up into one person, the same Ojukwu and Azikwe he had also unfairly maligned.
Recall that the minister turned driver was to later decamp to one of the parties that prides itself as an Igbo party in order to contest for the office of governor, where he proclaimed that he hoped to interpret the Igbo to the Nigerian nation, truth however was that he had hoped that IPOB would back his ambition to become governor but was dsappointed at the stance of Kanu and IPOB who had insisted on boycotting the polls. He was to place a dismal fourth position and has since found his way back to the PDP.
Surprisingly, these supporters of Kanu; those who hailed him as the “Messiah” have in a jiffy turned around and accused him of working for the APC to ensure Buhari’s return. On what basis? Kanu’s calls for a vote boycott is in tandem with his consistent calls for a referendum to determine the future of “Biafrans”, he is not willing to change the goal post now that these selfish politicians want to use him and IPOB to sweep the polls in the SouthEast.
When did it become a crime to be consistent? I may not agree with Kanu’s calls for Biafra but he has much earned my my respect for such consistency.Truth is this, those maligning Kanu today did not deem his tactics wrong when the same IPOB called out our youths for protest; when IPOB issued the stay at home directives, and when IPOB called for a boycott of the polls in Anambra. They foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger, and cheered him on, today, they are in the process of ending up in it’s belly!
Such actions confirm a number of our earliest fears, which were that the whole IPOB package was from the onset an attempt to destabilise the administration of President Buhari and make it much unpopular in the SouthEast and South South. Pained by the defeat of the corrupt administration of President Jonathan, it is obvious that Kanu’s rise to stardom was largely fueled by those who knew that their days of rent seeking was over. Forget the talk about a Buhari disdain for NdiIgbo as well as the talk about a discriminatory attitude against NdiIgbo by Buhari. IPOB was merely used by these political jobbers to score political points, today it has backfired.
The idea of Biafra is bigger than the selfish political machinations of a few, it is beyond wearing such emotions upon a political sleeve, it evokes a memory and in the name of those who genuinely fought this war on both sides, for a cause or causes that seemed right to these people, we must put an end to the besmirching of the memories of those who paid the supreme sacrifice as we can now see, otherwise we would have lost those who died and still die in a pursuit that is for now senseless and they would have died in vain!
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