Nnamdi Kanu: 5 ways to tame this monster we’ve created

These days, hundreds of Biafrans will give everything to kiss Kanu’s feet and massage his bum.

Nnamdi Kanu

Three years ago, Nnamdi Kanu was just another run-of-the-mill hate radio DJ who hugged a saliva drenched microphone for a living.

And then we arrested him.

Once the Nigerian State picked up Kanu from that Lagos hotel in 2015, it played right into the hands of a rabble-rouser.

By June 28, 2017, Kanu had become the royalty who acknowledges cheers, chants and adulation from hundreds of fawning ‘Biafrans’; from the comfort of his father’s compound in Umuahia, Abia State – the kind of reverence befitting a King.

These days, hundreds of Biafrans will give everything to kiss Kanu’s feet and massage his bum.

We’ve turned Kanu into a celebrity.

IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu waves at Biafran protesters in front of his Umuahia home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu waves at Biafran protesters in front of his Umuahia home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 (@Chxta (Twitter))

It’s time to put the Kanu genie back in the bottle from whence it emerged and here are five easy ways to achieve that.

1. Starve him of attention

Nnamdi Kanu is a sucker for the spotlight as you would expect from someone whose radio tirade and vitriol from the safety of Europe, pivoted him into national and international reckoning.

We are all guilty here. And by ‘we’ I mean the media as well.

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu (Elombah)

Imagine that Kanu’s feet gets licked by Biafran worshipers and not a soul transports the gory sights to the internet?

Imagine that Kanu threatens that no election will hold in the Southeast and not one media house reports it?

Imagine that we all stop making the man a media darling and under-report his tantrums and shenanigans?

It’s a tad difficult, I agree, but a media blackout of Kanu to a certain degree would have the effect a thousand arrests of the same man wouldn’t.

2. Aso Rock should never mention Kanu by name again

This is being implemented but the presidential villa needs to see it through by making it an official policy across the board.

On Wednesday, December 30, 2015, Kanu’s band of supporters rose by more than half after President Muhammadu Buhari swore to deal with the separatist during a live media chat.

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari (Sahara Reporters)

A visibly irritated Buhari was disgusted by all the Biafra noise especially because he was a participant in the war that wiped out thousands from the land in the ’60s.

But that media meltdown from the president armed thousands of Biafra sympathizers who were so sure that the then new president despised them; especially coming on the heels of the president’s infamous 97 percent voting pattern comments.

The presidential villa should henceforth desist from commenting or interfering in the Kanu trial and allow the judicial process run its course.

And Kanu’s Biafra protesters in the Southeast should henceforth be allowed to demonstrate peacefully and be guided by police as well. Don’t shoot at them.

3. Let’s have this referendum

In truth, there’s nothing wrong with the federal government calling for a referendum.

But to get to that point, Aso Rock must state that it has nothing against holding one and lawmakers should commence moves to insert same into the constitution.

My hunch is that millions of so called ‘Biafrans’ will vote to remain.

Support for secession has increased since the arrest in late 2015 of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the pro-independence Indigenous People of Biafra movement
Support for secession has increased since the arrest in late 2015 of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the pro-independence Indigenous People of Biafra movement (AFP)

I hail from the South South region and we’ve been co-opted into the Biafra map against our will or by default. I can assure you that if you take the Biafra agitations to my village, you will be pelted with sachets of water for a start and then tried at the Chief’s palace for stirring anger and violence.

We don’t want Biafra in my part of the country but here we are.

However, it’s a conversation we’ve got to confront head-on as a nation.

At the crux of the Biafra agitations are years of poor governance and inability to address inequality from Nigeria.

Address the underlying concerns bedeviling every region in Nigeria and we’ll be home and dry.

By merely announcing that it isn’t opposed to a referendum or calls for restructuring, the federal government would have taken the wind out of Kanu’s sails.

The man won’t have something to gripe about any longer.

4. Allow the judiciary do its job

While it lasted, it was sickening to see the prosecution (read federal government) thwart Kanu’s bail attempts time and again.

If a judge rules that the man be granted bail, grant him bail. If the court finds him not guilty of charges bordering on treason and illegal possession of firearms, so be it.

Nnamdi Kanu arguing with prison warden in Abuja
Nnamdi Kanu arguing with prison warden in Abuja (Femi Ipaye)

There was a time when the federal government made it clear it was meddling in the affairs of the judiciary as it concerns Kanu’s trial. There was a time when it was obvious that all Abuja wanted was a conviction against Kanu.

Unnecessary.

The Kanu myth thrives on all of that as do his supporters.

The principle of separation of powers should apply in this case.

And so shall it be.

5. State Governors in Southeast must cut Kanu off

To pose for pictures with Kanu like State Governors of the Southeast region and members of parliament did soon after his bail application was granted, was to imbue his ill-fated campaign with doses of legitimacy.

And all the Governors and lawmakers in that picture should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

(L) Former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu and IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu (R).
(L) Former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu and IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu (R). (Naij)

Yes, Kanu is no outcast and shouldn’t be treated as one. But to take selfies with him in one breath and say you condemn his hate-filled agitations in another, was hypocritical from leaders of the region.

Like, what was the motive behind those group photographs in the first instance?

If those State Governors were up to their jobs and dispensing their responsibilities in the region, we won’t have so many jobless youth picking up arms in support of Kanu’s cause.

Darn, crying shame!

credit: pulseng.

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