Ordinarily, I would not have gratified Tony Nnadi’s diatribe and his phantom Kuje Prison visit Report, Referendum with any response. I would have let it to be consigned to where it belongs – the trashcan. But on second thought, I also know that a lie repeated too often passes for the truth. Tony Nnadi has perfected this art and perfidy and lives off it. So, when I read his harangue against me and Ngozi Odumuko, the coordinator of Nzuko Umunna, and some others, I knew he was on the same worn, old road – confusing gullible minds who unfortunately are everywhere.
For the avoidance of doubt, more than 3 years ago, a pan Igbo organisation of which I was a member, Nzuko Umunna, thought it necessary to pay Nnamdi Kanu a solidarity visit when he was still in Kuje Prison. I was a part of that delegation, which succeeded in arousing the government to soften its stand.
For the benefit of those who didn’t read his tirade against me and others, here are the core claims of Tony Nnadi, among other rants: “It might interest us to learn that Law Mefor was the Secretary of the Nzuko Umunna Visitation Delegation to Kuje Prison, February 28, 2017…which went to discuss with Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB Confederates… The Meeting-Within-Meeting which I had with Nnamdi Kanu regarding the Issues of Strategy and Methodology over which the LNC differed IRRECONCILABLY with the totally meaningless “Biafra Restoration” Agitation, in the presence of the Delegation, prompted Nnamdi to tell the Delegation the full story of his Meeting with me 2013 in Lagos where he rejected the 8-Point Strategy of the LNC (including REFERENDUM as the mechanism of consummating the Self-Determination/Independence Campaign).”
Yes, as already stated, I was part of the delegation of Nzuko Umunna that paid Nnamdi Kanu a solidarity visit in Kuje to express the concern of Igbo leaders over his plight, not a meeting. Tony Nnadi was, however, truthful enough to admit thus: “The Meeting-Within-Meeting which I had with Nnamdi Kanu regarding the Issues of Strategy and Methodology… the 8-Point Strategy of the LNC (including REFERENDUM as the mechanism of consummating the Self-Determination/Independence Campaign).”
So, there was a meeting within the visit, which only he was privy to. Why then does he expect the Secretary (if there was one) to capture the deliberations of the private, aside dialogue between him and Nnamdi Kanu? That was neither possible nor necessary since it was not part of the agenda for the visitation. If it was, the delegates’ appointed leader and spokesman would have introduced and led that discussion and it would be captured in the text of the press conference written the night before. So his lie is too obvious to pass any basic scrutiny.
Tony Nnadi has also painted the picture that the delegation of Nzuko Umunna visited Nnamdi Kanu to discuss Strategy and Methodology (of his struggle). This couldn’t have been the case, going by the very nature of the visit, the setting (a federal prison where conversations could be tapped), and the restructuralist stand of Nzuko Umunna and the delegates themselves. His claim is dumb and implausible, to say the least and therefore a figment of his weird imagination if not a psychiatric delusion.
He further claimed that Ngozi Odumuko and I as secretary suppressed the report of that visit. Again his words: “Between Law Mefor and the Coordinator/Leaders of Nzuko Umunna, the Report from the Kuje Visitation was suppressed and that was the point at which the Igbo Leadership Collective TRAGICALLY lost the opportunity of turning the exertions of the IPOB into Positive Capital and Fuel for the LNC/MNN Grand Strategy. The Law Mefor Secretaryship of that February 28, 2017, Kuje Visitation Delegation was central to the Suppression of the Report of what transpired in the Kuje Meeting…”
It is rather strange that Tony Nnadi is claiming there should be a report on a solidarity visit. What is there to really report that was not captured in the press conference? The mission was one: solidarity (to express the concern of Igbo leaders) and when the Nzuko Umunna delegation was done with the visitation, the delegates addressed a press conference, the text of which, as read out to the pressmen, was widely reported in the media. Some of the print media published the text of the press conference verbatim.
I think I understand Tony Nnadi’s motive for writing in such a bitter manner. It is out of the funny rivalry between him as the leader of the so-called LNC and the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Each wants to be the only cock crowing in the yard, and have been running each other down, and engaging in unprintable name-calling to riddle Ndigbo within and outside Nigeria. Because of such antics and shenanigans, many wonder what life would be like in Biafra were it to come, Afghanistan, Somalia or Southern Sudan?
While fighting off attempts to bring sanity and reconciliation among the Biafra agitators, Tony Nnadi is blaming a phantom prison report. He also says Nnamdi Kanu is running away with a referendum, which was his idea. I thought that if his mission is altruistic and for common good, he should thank God that Kalu/IPOB has agreed to incorporate his proposal. But because the goal is not for common good, who takes the credit for whatever becomes uppermost on his grandiose mind. As at now, there is a bitter war between the two over who would be the President of the Biafra Republic when and if it comes, and who gets recognized as the authentic Biafra agitation leader. That is the abysmal level to which the Biafra struggle has degenerated – a private and business franchise of Tony Nnadi and his co-journeymen.
A Word Caution on the Lower Niger Congress – LNC
LNC can best be described as an amorphous organisation. LNC ought to have a President but nobody has ever seen or heard of him or her. Last I checked, LNC has no members, just Tony Nnadi and his long-winded thesis of how to tear down the Nigerian state and create 4 or 6 nations out it after a referendum. He has a map of the new nations, which is all over the social media, without any clear idea or trajectory of HOW to actualise same.
Yes, he is right; I did not give the so-called alternative option of LNC/MNN any attention in my “A Memo to Ndigbo in the Diaspora” because it largely constituted a journey to where. It lacks ideological clarity, and plausible and predictable end.
For the avoidance of doubt, in the timetable drawn by Tony Nnadi for the pulling down of the Nigerian nation (the House of Lugard as he derogatorily chose to call it) and the emergence of his imagined 4 to 6 nations therefrom, there should be an UN-mandated referendum in Nigeria this December 2020, another clear evidence that his design is nothing but subterfuge, which serves no useful purpose other than fleecing unsuspecting Ndigbo in Nigeria and in the diaspora.
Summarily, let me reiterate: our Kuje solidarity visit was not for a meeting and could not have been, and therefore shouldn’t have any report beyond the text of the press conference thereafter. There is no missing link. If he has a report of his “the meeting within the meeting” with Nnamdi Kanu on the sideline, let him publish it. The delegates even if they eavesdropped, cannot dispute or confirm it since they were not involved in his report on their dialogue.
I really don’t want to join issues further with Tony Nnadi. A man who decides to deploy con as a means of livelihood deserves my sympathy. I will never choose that path because of honour and decency. I’d rather consult for politicians in line with my training and experience as he said I do.
Permit me to place it once more on record: I cannot agree with Tony Nnadi because my stance is known and in the public domain: I believe in a Restructured Nigeria (which incidentally is also the position of the generality of our people, settled in 2018 at the Awka Declaration of Ndigbo). Yes, I believe that a restructured Nigeria is best for Ndigbo and the rest of Nigeria. I can only reassess my position if restructuring fails.
This same position is my point of departure with IPOB. The marginalisation of Ndigbo is real and protesting it by the Biafra agitators is legitimate but I do not share in their methods and the goal of sovereign state of Biafra or Lower Niger Republic, whatever that means.
Tony Nnadi and others who believe in independence should pursue it with decency and within the law, and should stop blackmailing those of us who want Restructured Nigeria. We too are entitled to our position as they are entitled to theirs.