Nnamdi Kanu’s Choice | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nnamdi Kanu’s Choice

Bola Ige
Posted: Aug 22, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


By William Bozimo

The leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra [IPOB], Nnamdi Kanu, to remain behind bars has come as a surprise to many who had been calling for his release from detention. ‘I WOULD RATHER DIE IN PRISON THAN TO RENOUNCE BIAFRA,’ he intoned recently.

He claimed it was an act from God for him to represent the indigenous peoples of Biafra to bring into fruition his dream of making the independent people of Biafra a reality. Nnamdi Kanu may have been born when the Biafra civil war raged from 1967- 1970. He was perhaps, flown into Britain during the war years and had become a British citizen.

Long after the civil war and long after the leader of the Biafra separatist movement in Col. Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, made the historic pronouncement that he was no longer interested in prosecuting the Biafran independence struggle in 1982 from faraway Ivory Coast, he got a reprieve from President Shehu Shagari’s government and he was flown back to Nigerian by the NPN led government.

Not so for Nnamdi Kanu. He would prefer death in prison than to renounce his commitment to free Biafra Republic. Spirit- filled Nnamdi Kanu is a different kind of an Igbo. He is not bothered about his personal freedom, but the realisation of a separate country for his indigenous Igbo peoples of Nigeria.

No one knows what is driving him on in the lonely walls of the Prison in Abuja, but from his recent utterance that he would prefer death in detention to being made free by a government that is determined to see him either rot in jail or gain his freedom by simply saying ‘I NO LONGER WANT BIAFRA’

In his mid thirties, slim and looking frail with treads of grey beard sprouting under his chin, Nnamdi is defiant as ever.

For him, living in a make belief world of a free Igbo in Nigeria is not his idea of real freedom. He understands that since the Biafran war ended some forty years plus and with some 2 million souls dead on both sides of the civil war divided, he strongly believes that  the current freedom in which Igbos are living is like a living hell where, politically, they are seen and  labelled a conquered people.

For how long will Nnamdi Kanu sacrifice himself for the entire Igbo peoples in Nigeria? His offence, as we already know, is the private Radio he operated which preaches hate messages against Nigeria and led to a series of anti Nigeria protests across the country for almost three months. Some of the protesters were killed by security operatives in the Eastern axis of Nigeria because they believe Nnamdi Kanu stood as a symbol of freedom without violence.

Living in a country where Nigerians love their lives and most Igbos seen their political survival as a matter that had gone out of their dreams thinking only God could come to their aid, it is perhaps, nearly impossible for either a Nnamdi Kanu and a few street protests to bring about the desired change for a   Biafra Republic to emerge without fighting for it? Nnamdi Kanu maybe a sacrificial lamb for the Igbo race but how much are the Igbo elites prepared to lend support to his non violence approach?

Is the mainstream Igbos supportive of the Nnamdi Kanu’s dream republic of Biafra? Every Nigerian leader, especially, former military heads of government had found it difficult to allow any part of the country to secede since they had sworn to ‘KEEP NIGERIA ONE AS A TASK THAT MUST BE DONE,’ Gen. Yakubu Gowon said this while prosecuting the civil war; and long after him all military leaders had sworn to Keep Nigeria as an indivisible entity despite all odds against its continued unity.

Is Nnamdi Kanu swimming as a lone ranger, who is swimming against the realities on the ground? A majority of Igbos, despite the glaring indignities that had been placed against them in political leadership dreams to be elected President long after the civil war. They seem not too persuaded to be galvanised like Odumegwu Ojukwu tried to rail road them into the avoidable civil war which they lost and surrendered at the end of the day.

There may be something going for him if Britain can take up the gauntlet and call for his release from captivity as its citizen? With the embattled Britain’s exit from Europe, can Britain summon the moral courage to prevail on the Nigerian government to release Nnamdi Kanu from continued incarceration by the Federal government led by President BUHARIA?

Nnmadi Kanu may be divinely propelled to fight for the freedom of his people from Nigeria. It does seem, in the present scenario of dwindling economy in the country, with the unrelieved Boko Haram activities in the North East and the prevailing Niger Delta pipelines bursting and reducing the level of gas and crude for export, the President may not want to be dragged not a diplomatic row with BRITAIN over Nnamdi Kanu’s Choice to make his deception centre a permanent home until death comes knocking at his doors.

Nnamdi Kanu’s Choice is not an enviable one by anyone. We pray for him to have a change of mind, and when that will come is yet another matter.