By Adebayo Raphael
Since Nnamdi Kanu’s abduction in 2021 by Nigeria’s transnational Gestapo, the consequential rage of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra has been, to a considerable extent, not up to scratch.
Instead, there seems to be a diminishing rage, IPOB itself on the brink of becoming another fossilised group in the graveyard of reactionary opposition.
My suspicion is: It is either the IPOB has not fully understood the gravity of its historical position in the struggle against feudal fanaticism in Nigeria, or the group is beginning to suffer an entropic decline due to the sudden, perhaps unexpected, abduction, detention and phoney trial of its supreme commander, Nnamdi Kanu.
Either way, IPOB must wake up! IPOB is not just another self-determination group; neither is its existence an ordinary fluke: its existence embodies the compelling contradiction between actuality and potentiality in Nigeria. Its self-determination thrust is both a categorical imperative and a catalytic symbol of revolutionary consciousness for Southerners.
The self-determination struggle of IPOB, whether it is aware of this or not, represents the material disillusionment and revolutionary goal of not only the Igbos but the entire Southern Nigeria and the oppressed people in the Middle-Belt. Its historical mission, which it must fully embrace if the revolutionary goal must be attained, is anarchistic in scope and exigent in force.
The phoney trial of Nnamdi Kanu, as a hitherto misapprehended but almost always a persecuted revolutionary, is neither a trial of IPOB nor the Igbos only, it is a trial of the entire Southern Nigeria.
We must, therefore, note that the diminishing rage of IPOB is simply a revolutionary suicide that cannot and must not be allowed by the Igbos and Southerners in general. For too long, the struggle of IPOB has been defined narrowly by the Nigerian political class, and that narrow definition, in consequence, has been accepted by the gullible populace who listen to them.
The struggle of IPOB has been demonised and criminalised as a struggle of impassioned youths who know nothing about Nigeria. But if IPOB activists are ignorant in all things, they are thankfully knowledgeable about the unworkableness of Nigeria. And this is why the diminishing rage among IPOB activists, which is indicative of revolutionary entropy and perhaps doubtfulness, must be quickly overturned in the direction of reinvigorating IPOB and Southern Nigerians’ revolutionary energy against feudalism and hegemony.
If we know nothing about Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, and by extension, the buffoonish incarceration of Sunday Igboho in the Republic of Benin, we can be sure that it is the manifestation of Buhari’s parable of the dot. Buhari’s history as a military dictator should guide enough about his implacable penchant for vengeance and his sadistic relish of overlong illegal and inhuman detention of real and perceived enemies.
One critical question for IPOB and Southerners is: Can Buhari set Nnamdi Kanu or even Sunday Igboho free without active resistance from IPOB and other revolutionary forces? Buhari has neither the incentive nor the intention to release Kanu or Igboho, regardless of how many times Igbo and Yoruba grovellers grovel at his feet to convince him otherwise. His mind is too caked in feudalist rule and expansion to consider it a moot point.
The forthcoming 2023 election is a clear feudalistic and hegemonic threat to the revolutionary goal which IPOB represents for the people of the South and the Middle-Belt. But Southern Nigeria need not capitulate to this threat if, as was done during the previous spell of Kanu’s trial under the incumbent feudalist regime.
The IPOB must be swift to regenerate its revolutionary confidence and energy, relying less on Kanu’s British identity and more on indigenous and endogenous alliances. It must picket every nook and cranny of whatever courthouse Kanu is to be tried in the FCT; it must also mobilise against the occupying force of the Nigeria police and the army in the Southeast, and move from protest to resistance as a matter of necessity – but this time, in collaboration with other Southern forces of revolution and solitary.
Adebayo, a writer, scholar and human rights activist, sent this as a prelude to his book: De-Nigerianization, which will be available in the United Kingdom and on Amazon from March 1, 2022.