It is stale news that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled fugitive leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN), was kidnapped in Nairobi, Kenya, and brought back to the country of his birth he derisively described as a ‘zoo’. His judicial odyssey would now have to restart in earnest (26 July) from where it was abandoned some years ago following his disappearance on bail.
Kanu has maintained that he decided to flee the country when his country home in Afaraukwu, Abia State, was attacked by the Nigerian security operatives. If he had not fled then perhaps we would not be here talking about him and his separatist exploits. He would have been killed and/or taken into custody.
The manner of his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria had since become a subject of global controversy. As a British citizen Kanu is unlike the rest of us condemned to an ebbing Nigerianness. To be a Nigerian comes with a huge price, an admixture of glory and ignominy depending on the side of the great divide one finds himself. If you are rich and connected you are above the law living your life like what obtains in ‘paradise’. But if you are poor then hell is here!
If Nigeria were to be North Korea, Russia, Turkey or Belarus then Kanu’s rendition would not have shocked anyone. Presidents Kim, Putin, Erdogan and Lukachenko respectively are all ruling over rogue states dictatorially. Putin can afford to liquidate every opposition or dare any European country or even the superpower, the US. Russia is powerful militarily and Putin is a killer-dictator with little or no conscience. Ditto Erdogan, Kim and Lukachenko.
But then everything is possible in a Nigeria where leadership has metamorphosed into a criminal enterprise! President Muhammadu Buhari remains the same General Buhari whose dictatorial track record speaks volume. He had desperately wanted to deal with the late Umaru Dikko that he engaged the services of a special squad to go over to London to ‘crate’ him back home dead or alive! He never pretended to operate within democratic tenets nor demonstrated his likeness for the press or free speech.
He told Nigerians he was for change prior to his election and ‘re-election’ but nothing has changed ever since. What could have changed in our national life is legion: insecurity, kidnapping for ransom, unemployment, agitation for separation from mother Nigeria and state terrorism. Buhari can never be a democrat because he has refused to grow.
Iron sharpens iron! But in him we discover iron sharpening rubber or vice versa. You cannot possibly give what you do not have or possess.
Dictators around the world have this pattern of hiding their atrocities so that history would not bear witness to them. They usually surround themselves with spin-doctors and propagandists who churn out bluster after bluster in order to obfuscate reality and truth.
Buhari has enough of these undesirable elements as media and publicity handlers. While the President is not good at the job he was elected to do the spin masters try to shield him from the people, aware of his administrative incompetence and mediocrity.
The IPOB Spokesman, Emma Powerful, recently released a shocking statement indicating that ‘investigations’ by the proscribed ‘terrorist’ organization had revealed those involved in the rendition of their embattled leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Mr Powerful named the Governors of Rivers and Anambra States, Nyesom Wike and Willie Obiano respectively, a serving Minister, Chris Ngige and the business mogul, Emeka Offor as those that bankrolled the Kanu abduction and repatriation back to Nigeria.
According to an online report the Kenyans had admitted kidnapping Kanu and handing him over to the federal government but they added that the request for the criminal action emanated from the Buhari administration. What they never told us is how much they received in exchange for releasing Kanu to Nigeria!
While those exposed as having ‘sold’ Kanu have not yet denied their involvement thereby giving credence to the allegation we may not believe the tale hook, line and sinker. Those named and shamed could have elected to keep mum, silently dismissing the betrayal story as the figment of the wild imagination of the IPOB propaganda army. But sometimes silence may not be golden especially in circumstances of this nature.
Governor Wike is a known ‘enemy’ of Biafra. His Biafraphobia is never hidden. But the involvement of Gov. Obiano, Minister Ngige and businessman Offor surprised not a few folks.
Saboteurs abound in Igboland! Even during the Ojukwu-led Biafran war, almost half a century ago, some Igbos accused of betrayal were disciplined (or in some extreme cases) executed for wining and dining with the enemies.
In the protracted Biafran nationhood struggle Kanu did not enjoy the broad support of the Igbo elite. Perhaps because of his messiah-like disposition and crude methods and tactics. They rather saw him as a threat to their political and economic interests. Hence the need for his ‘liquidation’!
Now that Kanu is inside the ‘zoo’, caged and incapacited, it is left to be seen how things would play out. He may be jailed but the consequencies of his rendition and appointment with justice might determine the next phase of the Biafran agitation.