HOW MAZI NNAMDI KANU AND HIS FOLLOWERS COULD PURSUE THEIR MISSION WITHOUT PUTTING THE IGBO RACE TO DANGER
By Anayo M. Nwosu
I painstakingly listened to the much awaited speech by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu yesterday. He didn’t disappoint me.
But before he returns to Nigeria with the “hell” he promised, I would like to write a sequel to my article a day before on the need for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters to change their strategies in pursuit of what they think is best for their Igbo country men and women.
Some readers, after reading my dissenting views on IPOB’s approach, had challenged me to propose my own workable strategy and I hereby adduce as below.
If the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members believe that Nigeria as presently constituted is repugnant to them and that its leaders are oppressive of Igbos and that they want a separate country or a better deal, they can do what Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and co did to the British colonial government.
The aforementioned founding fathers of Nigeria did not engage in armed struggles. They rather worked through the existing government structures to put pressure on the colonial masters. And they succeeded.
Recall that Britain did to Igbos much more than Nigeria had to them. British colonial government desecrated our worship centres, sacked our deities and replaced them with theirs. They sold our ancestors, killed stubborn elders and massacred our young men; they also enslaved our relatives and sold them off as commodities. Didn’t they exploit our resources and harvest labour for free?
Notwithstanding the atrocities of the British, Zik and other freedom seekers filled with liberative intentions and anti-colonial sentiments, galvanized their collaborators formed political parties and contested for political positions in the same oppressive colonial government. They constructively engaged the Britain until they achieved Nigerian independence.
What stops IPOB from forming a political party or supporting and taking over the structures of an existing party?
Imagine a situation where IPOB sponsors its members to take over all the councillorship, local government chairmanship, houses of assembly membership, governorship, National Assembly membership in the states they claim they have dominance.
With their control of the political positions in their areas of influence, IPOB members would have eliminated those crop of leaders from within, they call traitors and can now determine their priorities and see to the implementation of their integration policies, like consolidated economic budgets for Eastern Nigeria as it concerns infrastructural projects and other capital expenditures.
With five or more states in their kitty, IPOB can now start demanding for what they desire from the central government. The centre must at this time, listen to them as they have become a solid block. Nigeria would have no other option than to make concessions. The noise would be driven by IPOB leaders and the sponsored National Assembly members.
How can people who didn’t register for an election and have no permanent voter’s card (PVCs) demand for a referendum? Perhaps they don’t know that a referendum is a form of election and which involves voting.
It is only an existing government that can conduct a referendum not a requesting party. Therefore, those without PVCs cannot vote in referendum which IPOB members hotly demand.
Ignorantly or thoughtlessly, Mazi Kanu had asked his supporters not to register or collect PVCs from the “Zoo”, his new name for his current country.
It amounts to laziness or pure suicidal mischief for anybody to expect to be gifted Independence by a benefiting party. It hasn’t happened before. Not even a child would willingly agree to give up breast suckling even when he or she is due for weaning. The only option is to raise an army and the outcome is not spiritual but could be predicted and we had experienced it before.
I had maintained, in my various commentaries before now, that this Biafran project is not a private business of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his followers but a movement which actions, inactions and utterances will directly affect all Igbos hence IPOB cannot be left alone.
All Igbo people of various creed and professions should speak up to properly direct our brother, Nnamdi Kanu and his massive followers or else we shall all suffer the repercussions.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his group should shelve their salvific or messianic dispositions and face elections in the areas they claim they have members. They need to learn how to canvass for votes and how to hold the elected leaders to account. Some of them would be surprised at voters reactions towards them and their policies. They may not even win in some locations in which they think they are popular.
All should know that nobody elected Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to lead and speak for the Igbos. He appointed himself and gained the sympathy of the proletariat not versed in international politics and many other young Igbos who are not happy with the way the rest of Nigeria treat Igbos.
Mazi Kanu doesn’t speak for many serious Igbo business men and women and those in professions as well as many intellectuals except the politicians who use him as a currency to achieve their selfish aims.
Has any Igbo man or woman imagined having Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as Biafran president with his rabid temperament and perchance to insulting even those he needs to covet their support? The world has moved beyond leaders of his ilk. He will become a dictator and would be impeached as soon as he becomes a democratic leader. This is after he must have summarily executed some of his compatriots.
My position is not that I like the current treatment of the Igbos in Nigeria but I believe that the agitation for a greater Igbo space and opportunities should not be pursued the way Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his group are presently doing. They are rather exposing the Igbo race to a greater danger which is avoidable.
I have said my own!