Rethinking Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB
By Duncan Odey
Since the past few weeks, Nigeria has come full circle to a lot of things that were assuredly unthinkable a few years ago, counting from Buhari’s ascendency in mid-2015.
There’s no other issue in the land that demonstrates the rapidly changing tide of times than the matter of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); plus their principled stand and early warnings on the issues that are now disquieting the land.
What we knew before the past few weeks about Nnamdi Kanu’s legal troubles with the Southeast Governors and the Buhari-led federal government, which also includes partly why IPOB was declared a terrorist group and proscribed was that Nnamdi Kanu was accused of “beating war drums” by the dint of certain pronouncements he was making.
First, Nnamdi Kanu was the first to accuse Buhari of plotting a Jihad and Fulanization of Nigeria as far back as 2015. He was widely condemned for it, even by some of the eminent persons who have now turned full circle to saying exactly the same thing four years later in 2019. They included Obasanjo, Danjuma, CAN, Nnia Nwodo, Southeast Governors, etc.
Danjuma even took his petition to the UK government and both he and Nnia Nwodo and other ‘converts’ are now sounding more militant than the myriad pronouncements issuing from Nnamdi Kanu that these people had roundly condemned as militancy and criminal to boot.
Second, as far back as 2016, Nnamdi Kanu warned about an impending assault on the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court. He called on Nigeria Bar Association to prime itself to resist it. As usual, he was vilified and called all sorts of names, including a false prophet. Yet, barely three years down the road, it happened when Onnoghen was humiliated out of office.
Even Nigeria Bar Association that had sat on the fence when Buhari was showing all the signs and Kanu was sounding warnings was caught off-guard and mired in hand-wringing.
Third, Nnamdi Kanu warmed (or is it prophesied?) about a federally-supported and empowered Fulani inroads into Middle and Southern Nigeria. Again, his warnings were dismissed as ‘hate speech’, only for the ‘prophesy’ to recently begin to manifest earnest when the federal government announced its intention to set up exclusive Fulani settlements across Nigeria, otherwise known as RUGA.
And even Miyetti Allah, the civilian wing of Fulani herdsmen terrorists got so emboldened that it resorted to pushing for Fulani vigilantes in the same Southeast which had banned IPOB for organizing a similar thing for Southeast and South-South citizens.
Fourth, Nnamdi Kanu had warned that the 2019 elections would be rigged to return Buhari to power and he had deployed it as the main justification for ordering a boycott of the election in Southeast and South-South. According to him, it didn’t make sense to cast votes that won’t count in the final reckoning of the results.
Sure thing, PDP is now in court fighting the result of the election as declared and claiming that the real result is in some server somewhere, which the same INEC that had touted such a server, is now denying vehemently.
There is much more of Kanu’s early predictions, warnings (or prophesies, if you will) that are in the public domain.
A simple Goggle search will disclose much more than the space here will permit a repetition. But suffice it to say that, given the recent run of events, is it still proper to be prosecuting Nnamdi Kanu for being the first person who said the things that most people are also saying now, and walking free?
And doesn’t simple decency demand that Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB now deserve a pat on the back, an apology of sorts, some good press; and yes - some public contrition from those who had demonized them, only to now see quantum reasons to recant.
Odey writes from email@example.com