I was a guest at the STAR FM RADIO in Lagos on 28th of August 2017, on the Morning Rush show with Mofe Oyatogun. This very issue of Kanu arrest and re-arrest dorminated the discussion on that show.
From those that called in with their hate filled utterances to what Paul Unongo said, the representative of the Northern Elders forum, who chestized the Igbo leadership for not calling Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB to order as the Northern Elders did with the Arewa Youths. Infact, it sounds more liking unleashing a dog and then calling the dog back and then attempting to use that as basis of negotiations.
Nothing could be more misguided. Infact, it is now obvious that most people simply don’t get it, or pretend not to get it. So they are simply trying to wish away genuine agitation that is driven not by Nnamdi Kanu per se, but by the manifest injustices that have been visited on a people, not just the Igbos.
These injustices have reached its highest crescendo with the current administion that seem hell bent on their sectional agenda and interest which really is not a bad thing , only that they are pursuing this parochial interest at the exclusion of some others or at their expense. It appears they believe that their gain must translate into others losses. They don’t believe in the win win outcome or the long endured principle of live and let live. It seems more like live and let die from their perspective and disposition. It is now evident that the eviction notice by the so called Arewa Youths was carefully crafted to create a counter balance trade for the legitimate agitations that predated Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB. And surprisingly so many Nigerians are quickly buying into this scenario.
What’s really driving the Arewa Youths if one may ask? Are they angry as the first Sons and daughters OR first class citizen of Nigeria as their house help and other servants are making trouble in their fathers house (Nigeria). It simply distraught me that the citizens of this country are so driven by orchestrated headlines. they fail always to see the larger picture and in the end they pay dearly for it.
When the late Fela was here with us, he warned about what was about to play out for decades to come even till this day, we dismissed him and called him trouble maker and weed smoker. We saw the messages he delivered through his songs as pure entertainment. But today, Fela seem more like a prophet that saw today yesterday. They do not ask probing questions, and they do not look at factual basis of an issue before reacting and responding. How come people have not asked what gave these particular Arewa Youths the right and audacity to threaten genocide and eviction of other citizens. Most answer you hear is that the IPOB are making trouble, and Nnamdi Kanu is abusing everybody. And what is the trouble??
Even while admitting the initial excesses of Nnamdi Kanu, does that foreclose that agitation for us to do things in a more equitable manner. Does is it change the idea of Letting the principle of equity and fair play prevail, Or rewarding hardwork and competence and not the opposite? Ok now people are saying; Let them Leave me to decide my destiny and future, they still said No! And I ask; where are the rest of Nigerians on this?? Are these demands not basic universal citizenship question?Are they not what the President himself upheld in the brilliant speech he delivered before the world at the United Nations?
In my submission that morning, I made it clear that they are judging unequal causes equally, and that in itself is even greater injustice on its own. All I can say is that we are deceiving ourselves and blinded by Igbo hate which all of us will pay dearly in the near future. Because the sheep does not wear a cheerful face while the ram is being led to the slaughter. Why?? Because in the absence of the Ram of course the sheep is the next viable alternative. This one reality is what most Nigerians have not faced as a people.
Remember it was OBJ that promulgated decree 2 during his tenure as military head of state. It was that same decree 2 that Late Abacha used to jail and came close to killing him. So many Nigerians are calling the President to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu for the so called violation of his unusual bail condition. People tend to forget that this is a citizenship question. They ask the President to re-arrest him, without even understanding the legal precedent they are setting. How can the President arrest someone? Is it his job in a democracy? It is now obvious that what is affecting us is not entirely outside our own making and docile mindset.
I reminded them that most people seem to suffer selective amnesia when it comes the Igbos and Nnamdi Kanu. So many people surprisingly have forgotten that the same Kanu was granted unconditional bail by a court of competent jurisdiction yet it was flaunted and disregarded. What a nation, what a people!.
Take away the word Biafra, then what Nnamdi Kanu is doing is no different from what other people are doing and even more. There’s an Nnamdi Kanu in every region and tribe. This is a citizenship question that Nigerians are failing to address. I also made reference to a very landmark case of a Kkk (Ku klux klan) member (a reputable hate and white Supremacists group) that was arrested for civil right violations. No reputable lawyer wanted to defend him. But guess what? A black African American lawyer insisted on defending him. People were deeply surprised and even troubled that a Blackman will defend a white supremacist. But the Black Attorney had a different thing in mind. He was guided by the wisdom of that Sheep and Ram proverb. This attorney had an ideal and unconventional mindset that is completely lacking even among the most educated among us. This is what he said when confronted with his unpopular decision to defend the white supremacist in the court if m law. The brilliant lawyer said; “Am defending the white supremacist to express his opinion. Am defending his rights to preserve mine”. Wow! what a wise submission and pragmatism. What a dispassionate response and action. This man realized that as An African American any legal precedent set today will be used drastically against him tomorrow. He’s fighting for that Racist not out of love, but out of citizenship question and shared human inalienable rights. Nigerians should think about what they are wishing today as they might as well get them plenty in no distant future.
Nigerians must not make permanent decision under a temporary inconvenience, just because of Nnamdi Kanu or the Igbos. What is now playing out completely transcends that. May be most will find out too little too late. endofdiscussion!
Chris O.Maduka Public Affairs and Policy Analyst