By Sunny Ikhioya
THE successful tracking down and arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has shown that the Nigerian security agencies can take on the insurgents threatening the country’s existence- in whatever form they present themselves- and successfully bring them to justice.
Why they have refused to use the same zeal to track down the Boko Haram terrorists, bandits, killer herdsmen and kidnappers, is a cause for concern to both local and international observers.
Kenny Okwu Kanu, better known as Nnamdi Kanu, is a young man who possesses a gift that many people wished they had: a gift of conviction, of the gab. When he talks, you cannot help but listen.
A gift of propaganda in the mould of Paul Joseph Goebbels, the German Nazi politician, who was the chief propagandist for the Nazi party from 1933, through to the end of the second World war in 1945. When they say white is black, people believe them.
Nnamdi Kanu succeeded in convincing a good proportion of Nigerians that our President Muhammadu Buhari is dead, that the one in Aso Rock villa today, is an impostor called Jubril Sudani, from Sudan. Many ordinary folks still believe this lie till today. That is how powerful Nnamdi Kanu can be with words.
He could make people do incredible things, some are very ready to die for him. But, in the manner of man, behind the facade, is a deep weakness that his followers have refused to see, that the IPOB hierarchy could not comprehend. This weakness has also brought Kanu down.
It is a very unfortunate thing, a young man that is so gifted, would lead people to their death unnecessarily, without realising that a more focused strategy will achieve the same result, without any blood shed. He has lost his father, mother, the kingship throne of his homeland and several others to their untimely death because of his struggle.
Though the struggle is a valid one, the right of the Igbo ethnic people to self determination, he did not start it. Others were there before him, many made sacrifices and risked their lives; others are doing it in their quiet way, not in the manner that Kanu has chosen to propagate his cause.
At best, Kanu would have been fit for the position of strategy and propaganda, not the leader. Kanu’s weakness is in his personality traits; he is narcissistic, megalomaniac and arrogant. On his own, he assumed the title of Supreme Commander of IPOB, by so doing, acquiring that aura of spirituality, divinely placed by the almighty God, that cannot be challenged.
In this line of reasoning, he had gone on to make reckless statements, insulting people that are far better than him, both in intellect and substance. He disregarded constituted authority, even denigrated the entire Igbo leadership institutions.
A tribe with all the best the human race can produce, both locally and internationally, would have a Kanu, claiming to be their leader, issuing orders and proclamations, to the extent of harassing his own kith and kin.
The enlightened ones among them were embarrassed and scandalised, they distanced themselves from him. Although, everyone agrees that the Biafran struggle is a legitimate one, they understand that the manner Nnamdi Kanu was prosecuting his own was bound to lead many innocent people into trouble.
Kanu was reckless, not discreet and autocratic. I once watched a video clip of him dismissing the whole IPOB leadership in the UK as useless people, and sacked them on the live broadcast. He did not allow for due process to take its course and brook no opposition, a classical dictator who claims to be fighting for the people.
That recklessness was what gave room for his easy capture by the federal security authorities. He was fished out like a rat and his balloon, including that of the over rated IPOB structure bursted. Kanu is IPOB and IPOB is Kanu. With Kanu in the slammer, I don’t see how IPOB can smoothly run its operations, unless they change their strategies.
One only hopes that the Federal Government will offer him a free and fair trial as they have promised. It is also very important for us to have a look at the circumstances that caused an Nnamdi Kanu to rear his head.
People are marginalised, discriminated against and accorded second class citizenship in their own land of birth, of their forefathers, no honourable people will accept that. The right to self determination by an ethnic nation is a universally accepted doctrine, in line with the United Nations charter, no government has the power to deprive a people of this right.
As mentioned earlier we have a team of well trained and disciplined force, which has acquitted itself in various theatres of war, all over the world – Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somali, Kosovo, Burma and others. Our soldiers and policemen have gone out and made the country proud.
In the past few years, we began to witness pockets of uprising here and there, especially in Borno State, where the Boko Haram group sprang from. The government of Umaru Yar’Adua did not take them lightly, he crushed them with very powerful force that forced them underground. A school of thought still believes that Yar’Adua would have handled the insurgency situation better but, for his shortlived reign.
His strategy was the carrot and stick approach, he would use force when necessary and offer palliatives when the situation calls for it, as he did with the Niger Delta militants. The relative peace we enjoy in the Niger Delta region today, is a result of the foundation he laid.
After the death of Umaru Yar’Adua, it became obvious that, with the manner of his ascension to power, Goodluck Jonathan was going to have a hard time to rein in some elements from the North, especially those groups that believed power must reside in the north. Do not forget that a prominent northern leader, once boasted to the whole world that, they will make the country ungovernable for Jonathan, if he remains in power.
Do not forget how the Sharia state of Zamfara was established during the period of President Olusegun Obasanjo. All of these were prelude of things to come. Today Zamfara State is a leading state, in bandits activities the country.
Do not forget that a prominent politician from the ruling party told the world that, they imported foreigners into this country to help prosecute the 2015 elections. Also, do not forget the mad rush of strange faces, apparently foreigners, trooping in and occupying available land spaces in Nigeria, immediately Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as President.
The infiltration continues till today and our military authorities are acting as if they do not know what steps to take. It is quite obvious that they know the right thing to do, but they are not taking that route because of inherent sentimentalities.
Nigeria will never remain united if we continue this way, our combined armed forces must bring their powers to bear down on these terrorists, come together and work out strategies to eliminate all criminal gangs, the way they have done to IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, that is the right way to go, for future peace and prosperity in the land.
Ikhioya wrote via www.southsouthecho.com