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On the 23rd of this month, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) made a press statement through his media adviser, Emma Powerful where he asked all IPOB members and Igbos to boycott the October 1st celebrations of Nigeria’s independence. His reasons for the sit-at-home order was to dissociate the group and Igbos in general from the failed state of Nigeria and its corrupt Government.
In his words:
‘We the global movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to announce to all Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom all over the world that Biafrans across the globe shall observe a sit-at-home in Biafraland and where permissible in the diaspora, join our Yoruba brethren agitating for the Oduduwa Republic, in public protests to mark the October 1, 2020.’
‘We, therefore, enjoin all Biafrans and every conscious Nigerian, especially those ethnic nationalities reeling from the triple-double blow of state-sponsored terrorism, bad governance and economic annihilation, to boycott every government organised ceremony designed to eulogise the failure that Nigeria has become. This is the time to let the world know how disastrously intolerable human existence is in Nigeria today.’
‘If you want to see an end to terrorism and organised mediocrity, now is the time to register your anger by ensuring that you and your household sit-at-home on October 1, 2020.’
‘Do not risk the life and well-being of your children by allowing them to gather in groups in the open where terrorists may find it easier to blow them up or kidnap them. There is credible intelligence that terrorist groups are planning to slaughter our children should they venture out to celebrate or march on October 1st.’
‘This order is to highlight our position and resolve as Biafrans that we are no longer interested in propping up a crumbling terrorist state. The leadership of this great movement in conjunction with supporters of Biafra freedom across the globe have concluded every arrangement to let the whole world know and understand that we are no longer part of this shambolic monument to terrorism and failure.’
‘As Nigeria marks its independence on October 1st this year, we IPOB will appropriately declare our intention towards the full and irreversible restoration of Biafra sovereignty and independence for all oppressed ethnic groups in Nigeria.’
‘Complete and total lockdown of Biafraland and other terror ravaged areas of the Middle Belt come 1st of October 2020 is sacrosanct, irreversible and non-negotiable!’
‘Wholesale slaughter of innocent Judeo-Christians and state sponsored ethnic cleansing cannot be going on in our land at the same time as fake jamborees are being organised by the same sponsors terror attacks, in order to deflect our attention away from the imminent danger we are all in.’
‘We therefore urge that all markets, schools and businesses in Biafraland and beyond be shut down as a mark of respect to all those who have died as a result of terrorism against innocent civilians especially Christians, ethnic cleansing in Southern Kaduna and elsewhere across the Middle Belt. Everywhere in Biafraland must be under lock for Nigeria and the world to know that we are all united in our march toward total freedom. There should be no public events or ceremonies in Biafraland to avoid any needless loss of lives.’
‘We are a people that can never be obliterated from the surface of this earth.’
The notion that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu speaks for all Igbos is a complete misconception that has been sold across the world for personal and selfish gains. Looking at this sit-at-home order from a realistic point, one would see how it is completely riddled with egoistic tendencies and a personal agenda to show relevance or importance.
Nnamdi Kanu is a leader who has mastered the art of deception, propaganda and sympathetic priorities which he has used and is currently using among his very gullible followers. To this day, many are only getting to know the sort of person, Nnamdi Kanu is, his gimmick and his grand modus operandi. This is why many people who have carefully understudied him have called him out for his crooked and callous ways. Over the years, Nnamdi Kanu has shown that he has little or no regard for the Igbos, their states and the welfare of the Igbo people. Many might argue with this, but it is a pure truth. Calling for an October 1st (Independence day) boycott by the Igbos for personal reasons to satisfy one’s ego without caring about or planning ahead for the repercussions on the Igbos and the Igbo community at large only shows the level of selfishness Nnamdi Kanu is exhibiting.
Not to be mistaken, Nigeria is not a state many are proud to call a country. It is a bastardised contraption built on fallacy and sustained on falsehood, subjugation, repression and mind-boggling corruption. Igbos in Nigeria do not afford the luxury of equal amenities and attention the other citizens in Nigeria are getting. Being an average Igbo man in Nigeria means that you get accorded with second hand or second class respect and attention. The Southeast region is terribly marginalised and is left out in the say of things in the Country in both Politics and Socio-cultural matters. Basic amenities and resources like Federal roads, bridges, schools, institutions and Federal allocations are very difficult to attain in the Southeast region due to the bias being meted out to Igbos by the Buhari-led government. But nevertheless, this is not the time or the method to boycott a National event as important as the Independence day.
The Independence day of 1960 was celebrated by Hausas, Fulanis. Yorubas, Igbos and other minority tribes alike. It was a very important day because by the late 1950s, the call for independence of territories in Africa and the decline of the British Empire led to the country being granted independence on 1 October 1960 as the Federation of Nigeria. Three years after this, the constitution was amended and the country was declared the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Nnamdi Azikiwe an Igbo man, previously Governor-General, as the first President of the new Country. The fight for Independence was a coordinated effort by all Nigerian citizens regardless of tribe which is why it must be celebrated equally by all Nigerians regardless of tribe.
In addition to this fact, this boycott comes at a very crucial point in Nigeria’s political history when there are other clamours for restructuring and a shot at Igbo presidency. Boycotting the Independence Day celebrations will only show how unserious Igbos are with their agitations and the affairs of Nigeria and this might make them lose the little relevance they have in Nigeria and among International Observers. The problems confronting Nigeria as a country are the ingredients of discord and agitation which is why the Biafra of Kanu’s dream is nothing but a pipe dream. It will never materialise considering Kanu’s style of leadership. The Biafra Kanu has been selling to some gullible people is illusory and impracticable. This is not to say that Biafra can never materialise. No, Biafra could be but not with Kanu and definitely not the way he has been going about it.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu did not get it right with this proclamation of a boycott. He is trying to brainwash more Igbo youths into doing his bidding. He and his brainwashed army of ignoramus followership who see him as a god. If you wish to dare differ with the damn god, be ready to face the awful response from some of his sick followers who show how lost, confused and gullible they are with the notion of Secession.
Individuals who have decoded Nnamdi Kanu know that his stock in trade is the ever repetitive style of ‘divide and rule’. He so arrogantly, pretentiously, deceitfully, callously, abusively and indecently beats up the polity as it appeals to the Igbos, conjures up together, a self-serving fallacious figment of his own imaginations and tells lies with reckless abandon while trampling on the senses of his zombie-like followers.
One of his biggest fraudulent claims was his stint with the United Nations in 2019. Days before the commencement of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held last year in New York, the media was awash with the news that Kanu would be leading a delegation to the Assembly to plead the cause of the Biafra secessionist movement. A press statement released afterwards by IPOB boasted that Kanu was a speaker at the meeting. As at today, there is no evidence to prove Kanu was at the UNGA. Checks, however, suggest he was nowhere near New York, as no single report, picture or video, real or photoshopped has emerged. Besides, all the speeches delivered at the meeting have been made public on UNGA’s website, but none of Kanu or IPOB.
The Governor of Ebony State, David Umahi and many others have described Kanu as ‘the greatest scammer in Igboland, using deceit to cause confusion in the Igboland and not considering their adverse effects.’ Also, Ogbonna Chigozie, a human relations expert and the Secretary-General of Igbo-United in the United Kingdom has reiterated a countless number of times that ‘Nnamdi Kanu only speaks for his personal enrichment and not for Biafra.’ His core followers/supporters include a new generation who never witnessed the civil war but only read about it in history books or word-of-mouth from their parents and grand-parents. For them, Nnamdi Kanu is the new messiah that will lead them to achieve the Biafra Republic.
Nnamdi Kanu has no solid political background, experience or structure to command. Neither has he any military command as a back-up. Yet, he talks with reckless abandon, boasting that Nigeria has never seen anything like him. He preaches hate and sows the seeds of ethnic discord, rancour and acrimony. Here was a jobless Nigerian youngster in the UK employed by Ralph Uwazuruike to man the Radio Biafra arm of MASSOB in England. Being an opportunist, Nnamdi Kanu saw an avenue to carve a niche for himself. He thought of nothing better than to stir the sentiments of the Biafran agitation. Knowing fully well that his people, the Igbo people, are in dire need of ego massaging, he employed the smart use of Biafra rhetoric coupled with fiery propaganda of hate to mobilise gullible people. Here we are now, with the stupid, unfocussed and once again, bitter demand for Biafra.
With the ‘indissolubility’ of the country emphatically inserted in the Constitution, it is doubtful if the authorities will acquiesce in any action or suggestion that directly or indirectly results in the destruction of the Nigerian state. It is in this regard that the referendum demanded by Nnamdi Kanu and his co-agitators on the prospect of a sovereign state of Biafra might have fallen on deaf ears. The smart bet is that they will not get that referendum from the Federal Government, and the principle of self-determination, elegantly crafted in international law, has not been the easiest of principles to invoke or implement.
The Biafran secession movement is badly organised, and its failure to develop an encompassing strategic plan has left it open to charges that are little more than an excuse for mindless street violence. These weaknesses are now being exploited by the state. IPOB’s threats of military activity to defend itself thus far had already readied the Nigerian government through the police and military to clampdown on the organisation. Unfortunately, in Nigeria’s current highly agitated political atmosphere, this might be enough to ignite new waves of ethnic violence similar to those that sparked the first war for Biafran independence. Though Nnamdi Kanu has been able to use his ‘royal’ lineage to establish local credibility, his record does not suggest he can be taken seriously as the type of thoughtful, patient and responsible leader needed to bring any new nation into being. His haste, posturing and provocative behaviour have dealt a serious blow to the long-term success of the Biafran independence movement. The extent of the damage will only be visible in years to come. It is time to end Kanu’s racketeering business in the name of Biafran agitation so that Ndi Igbo can genuinely focus and pursue the restructuring of the country which definitely will be of immense value to Ndi Igbo when achieved since it will afford the opportunity for constitutional review and reamendment where Referendum will be squeezed in.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK