The Oasis Reporters
June 29, 2017
Nnamdi Kanu was an ordinary man, just like any other.
That he became such an enigma in Igbo land and a theme for passionate talking point nationwide and beyond is because of the acts of commission or omission of the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari.
John Okiyi examines how :
“Kanu has been attacking Jonathan even while he was president.
The only difference is that Jonathan was sensible enough to see him only as a ‘freedom of speech’ irritant and refused to arrest him or grant him undue prominence.
The first massive rally organized by IPOB held under Jonathan’s watch and yet he was ignored”.
He went further to examine the personae of Kanu under Muhammadu Buhari :
“Until Buhari came along and decided to ‘Mandelize’ (Nelson Mandela was a liberation fighter in South Africa who was put in prison for 27 years by the apartheid minority government in that country. On release, he became post apartheid president of a democratic society) Nnamdi Kanu by arresting him for saying the same things he was saying under Jonathan”.
He went on to say that “Jonathan was a democrat when it came to handling human rights issues and I praise him for being strong as a democrat. May be he came years earlier than his time”.
Ezege Okeataigwe continued from where John Okiyi Kalu stopped:
“The agitation for Biafra was a .low-burning oil until Muhammadu Buhari was elected into office as president.
Still thinking of Nigeria of the 1970s and 1980s, the old despot proceeded to establish a government that made discrimination against Igbo a brazen and official policy. It re-awakened old, festering grudges.
Rather than deal with this rapidly evolving situation like a true statesman, Buhari threw an ordinary Nnamdi Kanu in jail, and turned him into an extra-ordinary rallying figure of a movement that was at best at that point still in the fringes”.
Nigerians across the board agree that if Buhari had ignored Kanu the way Jonathan did, or initiated dialogue with the aggrieved Igbos the way Olusegun Obasanjo would have done, Nigeria would not have been facing this heightened agitation to lend credence to the prediction of a possible break up of Nigeria by the American Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.
It will be recalled that late president Umaru Musa Yar’adua equally tried to crush the Niger delta militancy by force and it was an unmitigated disaster. He quickly beat a retreat and initiated dialogue which brought about peace in the region and peace in the Nigerian economy which almost crumbled under his bombing wars there.
Incidentally, both Muhammadu Buhari and Umaru Musa Yar’adua are of the Fulani ethnic stock and both of them are from the same Katsina State in the semi arid north western region of Nigeria, bordering Niger Republic.