Nigeria`s mighty struggles to rein in the monstrous challenge of terrorism have seen the country become paranoid on some fronts. As the failures of some of those tasked with containing the very slippery eel that terrorism is mount, a favourite tactic has been to search for and s seek out scape goats, those who would take the fall for what has been a disappointing showing so far.
In recent times, no one person has captured the imagination of Nigeria`s counterterrorism operation like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) a group proscribed by the Federal Government as a terrorist organization.
It was in 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari won historic polls but could not fully recover from a comprehensive loss in the Southeast where people always bring their non-comformity even to elections. In comments ascribed to him shortly after his victory, he was to go on the warpath with the Southeast.
This warpath, real or imaginary, was soon seized by those who for years had sought to cook up a conspiracy in the Southeast to get people buy into the movement to realize the independent republic of Biafra. It was under such favourable circumstances that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, emerged as the seemingly lone voice crying in the wilderness of Biafra.
Attack after attack on key national assets in the Southeast by men supposedly under his command soon brought him to loggerheads with the federal government. There was an apprehension, a proscription of IPOB, an incarceration, bail and then prosecution.
In 2017, fearing for his life, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu fled the country effectively becoming a fugitive from justice. It took years but in 2021, he was arrested by the Kenyan government and bundled back to Nigeria to continue his trial for terrorism.
No sooner had he returned to the country than the IPOB took up arms against the federal government, foisting in the process debilitating insecurity on the Southeast.
Even if the cost of grounding activities in the Southeast every Monday is removed from the indiscriminate killings the region has witnessed for more than a year now, it would still be found to be incalculable.
So, it was with a sigh of relief that many especially in the Southeast welcomed the recent judgment of the court of appeal that discharged and acquitted Nnamdi Kanu of the charges leveled against him at the Federal High Court.
Many had wearily and warily welcomed the decision as an opportunity for the Southeast to find some respite after more than a year of random attacks.
But it appears that the Nigerian government is not interested in immediately obeying a judgment of the country`s penultimate court which specifically took umbrage at the way and manner Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and bundled back to the country to continue its trial.
It is now beyond doubt that a great deal of high-level politics has gone into the whole saga. The federal government had initially scoffed at the idea of finding a political solution to the entire situation, asking instead that the courts be allowed to decide his fate.
Now that the courts have decided his fate, there is a seeming reluctance in the highest places to release him and douse the flames in the Southeast once and for all.
It may all be connected to 2023 but unless those involved understand that there must be a limit to playing politics with the lives and property of others,Nigeria`s demise may be around the corner.