IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu Named Man Of The Year 2016
“On behalf of the European Union, especially in respect to the EU-Nigeria partnership, the Nigeria EU Joint Way Forward, the developments of the 6th ministerial dialogue and the fact that Nigeria is a recipient of EU aid, we call upon you to: Advocate for the immediate and safe release of Nnamdi Kanu and co-defendants, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwanuisi…… Denounce the unacceptable violence against Biafran supporters by Nigerian Security Forces…. Calling for guarantees on the freedom of expression of all Nigerian citizens, including their right to protest without harm and the termination of violence towards Biafrans.”
– 16 Members of European Union Parliament to Ms Frederica Mogherini, European High Representative Foreign Affairs, Brussels, December 19, 2016.
The South African regimes, since the Cape society of 1652, were implacably committed to Apartheid. Those irresponsible regimes facilitated and plotted the messianic emergence of Nelson Mandela. A buffeted world, perambulating failed leaders, presidential soothsayers and Nebuchadnezzars bereft of the sublime minds in the calibre and of the charisma of Josef Tito, Pandit Nehru, Mao Tse Tung, Charles de Gaulle, Fidel Castro, John and Robert Kennedy bunched about until February 1990, when the Mandela fever was released from prison to take over the world.
Before the resolution of that South African impasse, Mandela was charged and convicted of treason and sabotage in June 1964. He was going to be hanged but for Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s immediate dispatch of Dr. Awucha Jaja Wachukwu to the United Nations. On arrival at the United Nations, the late Nigerian pioneer UN Ambassador and External Affairs Minister addressed the UN. “These people in South Africa should not be treated as Europeans. They are Africans of European descent. There is nowhere they can go to in Europe and point to a piece of land, belonging to them…”
Flurries of diplomatic activities followed that momentous declaration from Nigeria and Mandela’s death sentence was commuted to life incarceration. (Pse see The Jews of Africa, Emma Okocha, Gom Slam Books, New York, 2016).
Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in so many ways is a reincarnation of Nelson Mandela. By 1987, Nnamdi was an innocent Geography major, resident at Akintola’s Hall, University of Nigeria. Like most of those souls created to suffer and ultimately change the world, Nnamdi’s path would prove to be thorny, uncommon and epochal. Their choices are usually limited and their footsteps and movements tunnel beyond their own wishes and desires. Otherwise, why did he not focus, tarry along with other normal “successful’’ students read up his vast Geography texts, enjoy the late bespectacled Professor Okoye’s map reading classes, or relax and chase the pretty and equally normal lionesses, a stone throw from his department at Okpara and Balewa Halls?
Nnamdi was not dumb or normal. He would be preferred to be tagged dangerous, poisonous, an insurrector. Nnamdi Kanu did not find the UNN plains a conducive environment for the fertilisation of the developing thoughts, revolting inside him against the order of the day. His mates were still in the lecture room when our young man dressed on a shirt and a pair of pants said goodbye to Nsukka. He did not stop until he arrived London.
Initially, accommodated by his lawyer uncle, he went on to change his discipline, ending up reading Political Science. Few years after, now a citizen of the world, Nnamdi developed into what Professor Bernard Nsokika Folon, Head of African Literature, University of Yaounde, refers to as an intellectual… “A spirit ever thirsting for knowledge; a mind that never accepts as certain, things unproved, a mind and spirit whose watch-word is thorough, or the individual that is more commonly referred to as the Thinker-Scholar.”
The Thinker-Scholar is not supreme because he is an expert in his special area, he is the intellectual because he is the schooled mind that is liberated by his extra education. His discipline and education is society’s gain if his work and life is dedicated to always proclaim the truth and protect the poor and down-ridden.
Above all his ascendency in education, the fact that he surrounds himself with the true and the truth, he is like the priests and dibias of our old, gifted with the knack of clairvoyance. The intellectual is the seer and like the prophets, they can see the future and they have the courage to predict tomorrow.
Last year, this column anointed Nnamdi Kenneth Kanu the Man of the Year 2015. All hell was let loose my direction. This year more than any other actor on the continent, Nnamdi Kanu is the most published prisoner of conscience in Africa. He is the man of the year. Few days ago, the European Union in milestone declaration of support, denounced the federal authorities’ disrespect for the courts and specifically the government’s killing of Biafrans. The Federal Government mismanagement of Nnamdi Kanu’s case has elevated him to the messianic acclaim of Nelson Mandela. In the wake of the abysmal failure of our politicians, a young man materialised from nowhere and questioned the system in debris, tried to redefine his teacher’s definition of success or his people’s understanding of reason. What is the value of a new religion whose followers turn round to spite and savage the omaricha and the omachalu elements of our culture and civilisation? What’s politics and government when the people are led by coxcombs and leaders have nothing to offer to their people and constituents?
Two years still in prison, millions flock behind him, parade the streets and stop the motorcades of presidents and governors. Leadership is not branding the Excellency tag; it is who is following you. Release Nnamdi Kanu now. In Southern Kaduna, beyond Boko Haram, Oduduwa, the Niger Delta and in the South East, his fanatical followers progressively, will decide the fate of the Nigerian Federation.
- Daily Sun