So let us have a conversation on why Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, a British-Nigerian man, who heads a group named IPOB might have over estimated himself and overplayed his hand.
So Nnamdi Kanu, a man who was detained for actively soliciting funds to wage war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria seemed to have over estimated his influence when, because he managed limited success when he called for civil disobedience in the South East, so he decided to go a step further and test his political clout by proclaiming that there will be no election in Anambra in November. He also claims he is planning a “day of rage”, when he will instruct all the people who hail from the South East area to destroy their Nigerian passports. He said nothing about non-Nigerian passports since he has a British passport. Smart guy.
He probably has concluded he has the Igbos adequately hypnotized enough to pull these very grievous commandments off.
But a couple of days ago, the party of Odumegwu Ojukwu, the father of Biafranism, decided to remind him who exactly he is. The All Progressives APGA wrote to Mr Nnamdi Kanu, to explain a few political things to him and put him in his place. In their letter, APGA told the IPOB ringleader that he should cease seeing himself as an emperor of the Igbo people, who because he managed to make some people sit at home on May 30th, now believes he is “supreme leader” of the Igbos. APGA made it known to him that fear by the people made them stay at home. Nobody wanted to be harmed by hooligans. APGA told him that the ideology of Biafra is not that of separation, but that of inclusion and fairness, which they believe is achievable via the current push for devolution of powers/restructuring. The party referred to the British-Nigerian as irresponsible, and lacking in focus.
What is the consequence of this letter from APGA to the leader it IPOB? It has plenty, far-reaching ramifications.
If you remember, Nnamdi Kanu was not invited to the parley between the federal government and leaders of thought in the South East. This enraged him. The FG made it clear that he was not recognized as a leader of the Igbos, whether of thought or political. And now APGA, the party of Ojukwu, has written to him that though he is recognized as leader of IPOB, he is not recognized as a leader of the Igbos.
These do damage to Mr. Kanu’s aspiration for political power, which is the entire basis for his agitation, not his love for Ndigbo.
His overconfident proclamation that there will be no election in the South East in November is a gambit he is playing, to try and assert influence again, a gamble that is doomed to fail, and will mark the beginning of the end of his struggle for political relevance in the South East. This is a gamble DOA. In November a Governor will be elected or reelected, and Nnamdi Kanu will be left with rotten tomatoes on his face. He is playing into a trap that he is too frenzied to see. Shebi he is the supreme leader, the all powerful.
IPOB is just another MASSOB, pumped up by adrenaline. In due time the hormone will recede and all that will be left is a social club of angry people, most of whom leave in diaspora.
Don’t forget that Nnamdi Kanu has also broken each and every one of the 12 conditions given for his bail, bail graciously granted on health grounds, and it might seem the FG is allowing him carry on. Don’t be fooled, the man is been given a long enough rope to hang himself, by himself. On July 11, his trial will recommence, and you can be sure the court will not fail to show that it took note of his contempt.
The prayer his sureties, highly-placed Nigerians in society, should be having now is that he does not resist appearing in court. Their names, 100 million naira each, and landed properties are at stake here. They meant good for him, one just hopes it does not backfire.
Henry Okelue, an IT practitioner, writer, and social commentator, is based in Abuja.