NNAMDI KANU: THE RISE OF BIAFRA AND THE COMING OF ODUDUWA – by Femi Fani-Kayode

Permit me to begin this weeks contribution with a brief
aside. My dear friend Major Hamza Al Mustapha was
reported to have said the following a few days ago:
“Those who strive to keep Nigeria one find themselves
as enemies of a certain category of Nigerians. I don’t
see those who hate to see Nigeria as one as a group
but a clique that exploits the country, a clique that mismanages the
future, a clique that invests in disintegration, a clique
that invests in misinformation and creating division
among Nigerians, a clique that promotes hatred, a
clique that distorts our history, so that when Nigerians are divided and can no
longer think together, they can make gains and continue
to steal from Nigeria’s commonwealth. But the moment
you realize what they are doing and resolve to fight
them, they will stop at nothing to destroy
you. Any call to divide Nigeria is unacceptable".
 
One wonders whether these were the thoughts of Major
Hamza Al-Mustapha when he was the Chief Security
Officer to General Sani Abacha and when Mrs. Kudirat
Abiola, the courageous and outspoken wife of Chief
MKO Abiola the winner of the June 12th 1993
presidential election, was brutally murdered in cold
blood by agents of the government that he served so
diligently and with such ruthless precision.
One wonders whether she was murdered alongside
many other gallant sons and daughters of the south
west by the Abacha regime in the name of maintaining
the national cohesion and unity that he claims to love
so much. I will grant my brother Hamza the opportunity
to answer this question before going any further but for
now I will just say the following.
I rather think that it is the clique of those that kill with
impunity, that supress dissent, that demonise their
peresceived enemies, that believe that the rest of us are
slaves and that believe that they were born to rule that
present the greatest threat to peace and national unity
in this country.
If they want peace and unity they must humble
themselves and beg God and the Nigerian people for
forgiveness for 103 years of cruelty, ruthless domination,
arrogance, genocide and impunity.
They must get off their high horse, purge themselves of
their notorious insolence and insufferable contempt and
they must stop the historical distortions, the insults, the
killings and the threats.
Whether Mustapha likes it or not the days when anyone
will invoke the spirit of national unity and one NIgeria
just to perpetuate injustice, bondage, slavery,
subjugation, mass muder, genocide, ethnic and religious
cleansing and core northern domination are long over.
All the insults and threats in the world cannot change
that. I await his response.
Permit me to continue this contribution by stating loudly
and clearly that those that have told Nnamdi Kanu and
his IPOB to steer clear of Lagos and Yorubaland and
that have said that he must not go there for any rallies
are talking bunkum.
Apart from the fact that milions of Igbos that reside in
Lagos and many other parts of the south-west would
welcome him with open arms and thunderous jubilation,
millions of Yoruba youth would also rejoice at his
coming simply because they have been inspired and
stirred by his sheer courage and dedication.
To the Yoruba nationalists and believers in the right of
self-determination Kanu is a hero and they not only
admire him but they also revere him.
This is especially so given the fact that he has long
since withdrawn and renounced many of the
misconceptions and views that he once espoused and
expressed about the Yoruba and their leaders before his
incarceration.
Had this not been the case this writer would not and
could not possibly have had as much respect and
affection for him as I do.
As a matter of fact since his release he has not only
stood by the Yoruba nation publicly but has also spoken
up for a number of Yoruba leaders who are suffering
persecution from the Federal Government and who have
been issued with life-threatening and physical threats
from the Arewa Youth.
Yours truly is one of those that both IPOB and Nnamdi
Kanu has stood by and spoken up for consistently and I
consider it to not only be an honor but also a gesture
that I shall never forget and that I shall always
endeavour to reciprocate.
Without any fear of contradiction, I can boldly say that
this courageous young man has nothing but respect and
affection for the Yoruba nation today.
He has renounced all his past comments about our
people both privately and publicly and he will do so
again in a big way when he comes to Lagos.
We spent a lot of time together in Kuje prison and we
learnt a lot from each other whilst there. We are fighting
the same cause against the same enemy.
Those that believe that he and IPOB have no friends
amongst the Yoruba are misguided and misinformed.
They have lost touch with reality and they are living in
the past.
The truth is that IPOB has friends amongst both the
elders and the youths in the south-west and, most
importantly, millions of Yoruba sons and daughters
share their vision of and belief in the right to exercise
their God-given right of self-determination.
They crave for and believe in the establishment of
Oduduwa Republic in much the same way and for the
same reasons that Nnamdi and members of his IPOB
crave for and believe in Biafra.
The bridge of commonality of purpose between the
south west and the south east has been rebuilt and re-
established and none shall ever break or burn it again.
Whether anyone likes it or not, in this struggle, we are
one.
I would also add this. Those in igboland and indeed
throughout the south that have openly opposed, insulted
and sought to chastise those gallant men and women
that support the idea of restructuring our country or
that consistently resist and denigrate the concept of
establishing the sovereign state of Biafra are
mischevous and disingenious.
They are nothing but gutless traitors, blacklegs and
turncoats that have no sense or knowledge of history
and that have been contracted by the powers that be to
shatter the dreams and aspirations of millions of young
Igbos from within.
Worst still they are simply voicing the views and
sentiments of the internal colonialists and our collective
slavemasters.
These turncoats and traitors have fed fat on Nigeria and
have consistently cornered the market of all that is due
to the Igbo from the Federal Government for themselves
over the last thirty years.
Such beneficiaries of a skewered, inequitable and
unwholesome system who have no empathy for the
suffering and humiliation of their own people and who
cannot feel their pain forget that, with God, all things
are possible.
If one million Igbo youths were slaughtered in the north
or in the streets of the east by northern mobs or our
security forces respectively these people would not voice
a single word of protest but would instead try to defend
and rationalise it.
This brings me to the meat of this essay. The Arewa
Youths that demanded that the Igbo must leave the
north by October 1st and that have now given the
Federal Government an ultimatum to arrest Nnamdi
Kanu in the next 10 days are stoking a fire that may end
up consumming Nigeria.
They must be gagged, put in chains and spanked hard!
Nnamdi Kanu is a hero and his call for independence for
the Igbo is legitimate and lawful. Any attempt to arrest
him will have consequences.
For those that still do not believe that the Biafra
phenomenon and message is here to stay and that are
still guided by the erroneous notion that "all is well" in
Nigeria I share the following.
Dr. John Dan Fulani, a cerebal and well-respected
activist, human rights crusader, intellectual and
academic from Southern Kaduna with a large following,
has said that if Biafra is established the people of
Southern Kaduna will leave Nigeria and go with them.
This unprecedented assertion and declaration has
caused panic, consternation and alarm in many core
northern conservative circles.
Again Professor Jerry Gana, a respected former Minister
from Niger state and a reasonable, well-known and
well-liked leader that has been deeply involved in
politics and entrenched in the corridors of power for the
last 32 years has said that if Nigeria were ever to break
up the people of the Middle Belt would leave the north
and go with the people of the south.
Again the Solomon Asemota SAN and T.Y. Danjuma-led
Christian Elders Forum has warned the Federal
Government and the Nigerian people about what they
have described as a subtle and dangerous application of
"stealth jihad" by the Federal Government in our country
and what they see as an attempt to islamise Nigeria.
Again a well-organised and credible Yoruba group called
the Yoruba Liberation Command (YOLICOM) has said
that it was "too late for restructuring" and that they
want Oduduwa Republic to be established. They also
threw their weight behind the establishment of Biafra.
This is the sad and sorry impasse that the ailing
President Muhammadu Buhari and his cult of ecstatic
cheerleaders and super worshippers have taken Nigeria
in just two years.
Whilst the dangerous ethnic, religious and regional
divisions in our country are getting wider by the day His
Royal Highness is busy holding court in London and
desperately trying to prove to the world that he is not
dead, that he is much better and that he can rule our
nation from a distant foreign land indefinately. What a
country! What a people!
The truth is that the President and the Presidency is not
meant to be a tourist attraction, a museum of old
fossils or a mausoleum of decaying bodies to be viewed
by curious dignitaries in a distant foreign land.
Despite the pretty group pictures with a handful of
selected governors I believe that it is an act of cruelty
to expect this poor and obviously very sick man to lead
a nation of 180 million.
In spite of my views about his glaring incompetence and
his many atrocities, weaknesses, eccentricities and
shortcomings I believe that even he deserves far better
than that.
My counsel, which is borne out of compassion and
nothing else, still remains that he resigns and that he
goes home and rests before he suffers yet another
replapse and returns to nether nether land!
The truth is that the only thing that competes with our
never-ending film show of "do you have a President or
do you not have a President" in Nigeria today is the
much-awaited and newly released 'season 7' of HBO's
"Game of Thrones" which I watch religiously and which I
enjoy enormously.
That is what the serious business of governance has
been reduced to in Nigeria. Is it any wonder that CNN's
Fareed Zakaria mocked us about our absentee President
before hundreds of millions of viewers from all over the
world just the other day?
The truth is that we deserve even worse. May God judge
those that have brought us this unquantifiable and
unbearable calamity and national shame.
Meanwhile I urge the wise and the discerning to pause
and consider the following.
Those that dismiss the widening divisions and
agitations in our country with disdain and contempt and
that underestimate the resolve of those that are behind
them are not only naive but they also do so at their
own peril.
It is only a matter of time before something gives. I say
this because national cohesion and unity can only be
established, entrenched and sustained by the
accomodation and toleration of dissenting views, the
constant expression of love and the regular and
consistent application of leadership by consensus.
It cannot be sustained by brutality, murder, injustice,
lies, supression, persecution, tyranny, manipulation,
deceit, propaganda and coercion.
You cannot hold a people down by the usage of threats,
the shedding of blood and the force of arms forever.
Even slaves rise up in bloody rebellion and resist tyranny
when the time is right, when the wind of liberation
blows and when the freedom bell tolls.
The south west, the south south and the south east
yearn for that liberty and freedom and the Middle Belt
craves for it.
The only thing that they are waiting for is the
emergence of a set of bold, clear-thinking, inspirational
and focused leaders that have the courage, the tenacity
of purpose, the unrelenting fortitude and the purity of
spirit to lead the struggle and to take them out of the
bondage of Egypt and into the Promise land.
The bottom line is as follows: I would rather live and
die as a free man in an independent Oduduwa Republic
than continue to live and die as a slave in the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
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