E O EkeMonday, September 18, 2017



he unfolding IPOB /Nnamdi Kanu agitation for Biafra, the military occupation of Igbo land and its brutal suppression of the protest is avoidable tragedy.

It is a clear evidence of failure of Igbo leadership, their lack of strategic thinking, ability and capacity to manage an evolving crisis. It exposes the democratic deficit in Nigerian politics and the disdain of president Buhari for the rule of law and fundamental human rights of Nigerians.

In Abia state in particular, We have governors, past and present who steal from the people. Of the past two governors of Abia state, one is in court fighting corruption the other is in the senate hiding from EFCC.

The state of politics, leadership probity and integrity in Abia state is in a mess to say the least. These are the facts that compelled Nnamdi Kanu.

Having lost the confidence of the people, the leaders could not contain Nnamdi Kanu. They allowed him to radicalise our youth to create the environment that gave sectarian minded, blood thirsty jihadist the excuse he needs to continue his killing of Igbos.

We need to be honest and dispassionate in speaking truth to power. The only Igbo leader that has a modicum of respect at this time is Nnia Wodo, the Ohanaeze president general.

He has shown leadership, intergrity and courage and should be given all the support and assistance he need. The rest must be voted out of office. No people can make progress, when they are led by the worst of them.

As I have said before, it is inconceivable that the governors, senators etc were not consulted before the army was deployed. We the people must know what they knew before the army was deployed.

The inconvenient truth is that IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu have fractured the Igbo society. There are now Igbos who support Biafra and those who do not and the youth are radicalised angry and confused. It will take some time to repair the damage and heal the wounds.

Nigerians need to know what igbo leaders know about the military deployment and why many of them were taking pictures with Nnamdi and urging him on as a political pun.

It is inconceivable that the army can deploy to a state in Nigeria without the knowledge and consent and approval the governors and political leaders. It is obvious to me that Igbo leaders (governors, senators legislators etc) are deceiving the people.

They lacked the courage to call Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB nuisance and tried to use him to put pressure on the federal government. Critics of the federal government like Femi Fani- Kayode rallied round him and urged him on. Those of us who opposed his rhetorics and did not support his agitation for Biafra were called saboteurs and 'sick'.

Igbo political leaders watched his popularity grow and became fearful of their political future and were ready to oblige the army to do their dirty job. The whole thing stinks to high heavens. I am not deceived. I am mortified.

Igbo political leaders knew that IPOB/Nnamdi Kanu's vision will not solve the Igbo problem, but they were content to allow it to go on because it removes the focus from them, their incompetence, corruption and abuse of their powers, which are the real reason why injustices against Igbos continue to exist in Nigeria.

They know that the agitation should have been against their corruption and inept leadership, which has left many social problems unaddressed and created the dissatisfaction which IPOB exploited.

Igbo leaders knew that Nnamdi Kanu was on bail and one of his bail conditions stipulates that he should not meet with more than 10 people at a time.

Yet they organised meetings with him where there were more than 10 people, including a constitutional lawyer and took picture.

The federal government of Nigeria has enough to use the court to achieve whatever it wants. I urge the Nigerian government to move away from the path of force and autocracy and allow the rule of law to prevail.

I am appalled at the level of understanding of the current Igbo leaders of multi ethnic politics, their level of sophistication and enlightenment. They brandish PhDs, and their money as if they are certificates of wisdom, unaware that the wisdom leadership demands has very little to do with academic degrees and money.

They seem unaware that wisdom is respect for the rule of law and others. Wisdom is courage and humility. Wisdom is honesty and stewardship. Wisdom is seeing danger and doing all in one's power to avoid it. Wisdom is speaking out, without fear or favour, when a lot is at stake.

I know Nnamdi Kanu. Yes, he is hubristic and head strong. But he means well, though misguided in his method and tactics.

He knows that our disagreement is on radio Biafra, what he finally did with it, his confrontational style and the fact that I see the place of Igbos in Nigeria.

There is no way, any objective minded person, not blinded by ethnic nationalism will not see that confronting a state without capacity for retaliatory action, especially when one's leaders are in cahoots with the oppressor is fool hardy.

I cried, I screamed and shouted, but my brothers could not see beyond what they think, believe or hope to achieve.

It is indeed a tragedy, that Igbo leaders will allow one person to bring upon the region so much suffering and death, when they have the means, power and capacity to prevent it.

This is not a time for recriminations. It is the time to stop the occupation and killings. It is the time to hold the perpetrators to account, replace the leadership and reeducate the people. This is the time to grow new hope, heals wounds and dream again.

This is the only way to ensure, that our misguided youth, who have paid with their lives, do not die in vain.

The right thing is to insist on justice for Nnamdi Kanu and all involved in this matter.

The federal government of Nigeria cannot be the accuser and the judge.

All the people involved in this tragedy, the agitators and the sectarian minded soldiers, who committed crimes against humanity in Igbo land must be subjected to the rule of law.

This is the least we can do. As they say, the fool does last, what the wise does first. Long live restructured Nigeria.