NNAMDI KANU AND BIAFRA RESTORATION
Self-Determination and Biafra Restoration
The above disclosure ultimately demonstrates that the Biafran freed slaves and the Kings of Calabar never abandoned the name of their nation, which is Biafra; rather chose to sustain it through the name of a new religion they embraced. It also reflects that the Presbyterian missionaries as far back as 1846 were in support of maintaining and sustaining the name of the nation – Biafra where they came to propagate and plant the new faith with the Biafran freed slaves. Most importantly, this goes to corroborate the more the fact that the Indigenous People of Biafra have been and existed on their own before they were forcefully amalgamated in 1914 with the Peoples of Oduduwa and Arewa.
As slaves in Nigeria, many Biafrans seem not to understand the frightening enormity of the mess they are in. The psyche and reasoning of many people of Biafra, regarding who they are and their land have in many fronts, largely battered. This unfortunate situation could be seen from negative events of time compounded and championed the more by political media campaign subterfuge. It is a deliberate but calculated attempt as well as an exercise of decimation of the people of Biafra.
There is an agenda of balkanization, divide and win/rule game-plan or ploy unleashed on the people of Biafra of which many didn’t know and still don’t seem to know or care. If it is not in the creation of states to dislocate people with “cutting and pasting or joining that has created disharmony,” it is in the giving of new names such as South East, South South, NigerDelta, Oil Producing States. It could also be seen by the use of certain expressions of insidious indoctrination such as “Igbo speaking people are bad,” “they will cheat you,” “Igbo people don’t love each other,” “Igbo people love money,” etc. By this, wittingly and unwittingly, the people of Biafra with the same cultural value system, whose mothers tie two pieces of wrapper, same dressing and dancing pattern, same understanding of market days (Eke, Orie, Afo, Nkwo), eating habit, same Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), same sense of creativity and hardwork are beleaguered, hewed and set apart from each other.
They now engage in an unholy exercise of destruction of one another, “rejection and alteration of traditional names”, dangerous political wrangling and parting of ways to always oppose each other. They now get themselves involved in continuous quarrel; in-fighting, live in perpetual friction among themselves while others milk them dry It will not be out of place to say that Biafrans are critically heading to ruin. We are almost gone in our cultural practices, identity, worldview, way of reasoning and language.
Nnamdi Kanu and Radio Biafra/BiafraTV
With the Nigeria/Biafra war, the project for the restoration of Biafra carried out by Odumegwu Ojukwu was unduly suppressed. But with the setting up of Radio Biafra in 2009, and, subsequently Biafra Television by Nnamdi Kanu the project for the restoration of Biafra completely took a new dimension. The establishment of these media outfit hinges on article 16 par 1 of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples which states; “Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.” As the Director of Radio Biafra/Biafra TV and Leader of IPOB, he (Kanu) provided a veritable platform upon which the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are now getting reunited and consciously knowing whom they are as Biafrans so as to repossess their land. Nnamdi Kanu, notwithstanding whatever may be considered his flaws as a human person regarding his stand, on certain religious issues in his challenging radio Biafra messages, remains a symbol of hope for many. He is seen as light of freedom and liberation for Biafrans from the dungeon of hopeless situation in which they find themselves.
One may not like Nnamdi Kanu or his approach, his style or his manner of speech or the way he sees things. One major fact remains that from all indications, he is remarkably sincere with the course of the restoration of Biafra, which is the crux of the matter. His maxim is “Biafra or death.” With this undaunted spirit, he urges all IPOB members “Remain resolute even in the face of your enemies,” because “Truth is life.” An Igbo adage says, “Ma Nwokoro emeghi ka onye ara Umunna ya agaghi alunye ya nwaanyi” meaning “If the first male child in the family does not behave like a mad man, his kinsmen would not advocate and assist him get married.” That is what I deduce as part of Kanu’s method to bring Biafrans out of the incalculable tragedy and destructive mess in which they are in. However, we cannot throw away the Baby with the dirty water. In the response of Nnamdi’s father, His Royal Highness (Eze) Israel Okwu Kanu regarding his son’s Biafra restoration project, he says; “My son will rather die than back out of Biafran struggle.” Because of his (Kanu) thundering speech and teaching that resonate, piercing the clouds, the clamoured jamming and neutralizing of radio Biafra by the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Buhari administration coupled with his (Kanu) arrest and protracted incarceration and negligence by the Department of State Security Services (DSS), of the court’s several orders for his release, the issue of Biafra and its restoration has been brought to the world’s centre stage. Femi Fani-Kayode in Nnamdi Kanu and the Cry for Biafra says: “the biggest favour that President Buhari’s security agencies could have done for the Biafran cause was to lock up Mr. Kanu and thereby transform him from being a little-known secessionist into the living symbol of the Biafran struggle, a respected freedom fighter, a champion of the Igbo people and an internationally acclaimed political prisoner.”
On the front page of Saturday Sun bearing, “Nnamdi Kanu, Mystery Man Behind Biafra, Onuoha Ukeh notes: “until…when Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, Director of Radio Biafra, was arrested in Lagos, only a few people knew about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)…Today, that hitherto obscured group has come to national limelight, with the “release Nnamdi Kanu” protests across the South East and South South.” People now courageously, openly and freely talk, discuss Biafra. Even the various Media outfit directly or indirectly, tacitly vowed not to carry, air, mention or talk about Nnamdi Kanu, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Biafra or Radio Biafra/TV have been forced by circumstances of the uncontrollable blowing wind of Biafra restoration packaged by the same Kanu to do so. As a freedom fighter whose name now resonates all around the world, Emmanuel Obe states this about him; “Kanu one day walked into the waiting arms of Nigeria’s security agents at the Lagos airport as he made a trip from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. It is still a matter of speculation if Kanu’s ‘surrender’ was a planned phase of the struggle or not.”
Who would have in his/her wildest imagination contemplated that children, young men and women, adults from the age of 13 to 50, would in the current dispensation of jet age, trek and protest for Biafra restoration from Agbor to Asaba in Delta State and from there to Onitsha and eventually finding their way to Enugu for whole three days. This was carried out despite the threat from the Nigerian army in their Rule of Engagement (ROE) to clamp down or crush Biafra unarmed peaceful protesters. The same with Biafrans coming from Baye.