27 October 2018
Nnamdi Kau, who leads the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitating for the secession of southeast Nigeria from the rest of the country, was back again on Radio Biafra this evening.
Kanu, who was missing since Nigerian soldiers stormed his father’s home in Afaraukwu, Abia State on 14 September last year, had resurfaced on Radio Biafra last Sunday, following the release of images that showed him in Jewish garb and at the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem.
Today, he said this broadcast was to his IPOB “family”. It seemed he was intent on shoring up their support as he claimed that many “went astray” when he was “away”. It looked like the sheep had lost their shepherd. He said he was in Israel, but this was no “Sermon on the Mount”. It was more like a rant on the radio by a shock jock that trying to cram in all his pet peeves against Nigeria and all the folks that had wronged his people, the Biafrans.
He started off saying that many of his “family” had fallen for the “trap set by our enemies”. Before he could get into second gear, he told listeners of technical problems at the station. Was it being jammed by “enemies”? No one was quite sure. But the man whom his followers call “Saviour” couldn’t save the broadcast and had to go off air for about 10 minutes.
After the interruption, Kanu was back to say that members of the IPOB “family” were “rare humans” and it was a “privilege” to belong to this “family”. This is because “only the pure at heart” qualified and they were a “special breed of people” that have come to “restore Biafra”. Historians may see parallels with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis’ views of Aryans being a special race.
Kanu then segued into his time in captivity – like a Daniel in the lion’s den. He used to be based in London and was captured by Nigerian security agents while visiting Nigeria in October 2015. He said he was kept in chains and locked up in a small room as they tried to “break me”. But they couldn’t succeed and during his court appearance he “mocked” President Muhammadu Buhari and lived to tell the tale because he (Kanu) was sent by “Chukwu Okike Abiama [God] and not man”. He went on to say that very few Igbos were “brave” like him to call out Buhari. He said the president was an “illiterate mad man” and was actually dead, hence referred to by Kanu as “the late Buhari”. The person that Nigerians think is their president is “Jubril from Sudan” and he will be “completely unmasked with DNA and pictorial evidence next month”. As Kanu’s rant took a funny turn, he informed listeners that “the late Buhari was dead and buried in Saudi Arabia.”
Kanu didn’t rate Igbo politicians in his version of the bravery stakes, but gave a shout-out to former aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode and ex Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose. Adding that he respected them. Both are facing corruption charges. But that didn’t fit the Kanu narrative.
Before you could catch a breath, the rambling shifted to how governors in Kanu’s home region of the southeast, the prospective Republic of Biafra, were traitors to their people and how they were afraid of Kanu’s powers. Special scorn was reserved for Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State. Who was presumably jealous when Kanu rolled into state capital Abakaliki with “longest convoy in history” and as they entered the city, “part of the convoy was in Enugu” – about 70km away and “we shut Abakaliki down”. Kanu then alleged that Umahi, alongside other southeast governors and John Nnnia Nwodo the leader of Ohanaeze, the Igbo pressure group, arranged for his “assassination”. The military raid on his compound in September last year was seen by Kanu as an attempt to kill him. They wanted to kill him because “I want to be free and to die a free man”. He was doing so by engaging in “civil disobedience and will boycott all boycottables”.
Next in the line of fire, with Kanu shooting from the lip, was the president’s wife Aisha. He quoted her saying that Kanu “intimidated the Nigerian army into submission” and “ran riot” because her husband wasn’t in Nigeria. This was the period in which Buhari spent over 100 days receiving treatment in London and returning in August last year. Kanu then said that governors Okezie Ikpeazu, of his home state Abia, Umahi and Nwodo had prepared “statements for my obituary”, ostensibly following the military raid that they “organised with the Fulani” for his “assassination”. He was not sure if Britain was involved in the plot, but he will find out when he goes there.
By this time, Kanu seemed to be on another planet, not just in Jerusalem. The Igbo governors had accused him of “heating up the polity”. But he was just “not comfortable with being slaves” of the Fulani. For him it was “either Biafra or die getting Biafra, no retreat, no surrender”. He claimed those Igbo leaders had ” crafted my bail conditions” to “cage me” the same way they caged other separatist groups like the Movement for Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob). It was “only in time for voting” that the Igbo politicians “have anything tangible to say”.
Next, Kanu claimed that Governor Ikpeazu “received stolen items” from his house. He promised listeners more on this in due course.
Kanu’s next claim was that he “ensured that herdsmen activities” in “Biafra Land” were “reduced to the barest minimum” when he was freed on bail. “80% of their activities stopped”. This seems difficult to believe because there hasn’t been a time in the past few years when Fulani herdsmen curtailed their movement in any part of Nigeria. But Kanu seems to dwell in an alternate universe where if he says something, it must be true.
He spoke about his detractors and how their “hatred is fuel” for him and he “feeds off it”. His IPOB “family ” members were “baptised in the heat of battle”. Interestingly, Kanu was referring to the “battle” on social media and the indefatigability of his internet “warriors” in winning online “battles”.
He then went back to how useless Igbo politicians were and how the governors wanted him to drop his Biafra agitation when he met them. Those politicians had allowed Igboland to be “shrunk to just five states”. But there were Igbo communities in Benue, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa and Delta States. Kanu never told his listeners how this affected the price of garri. Maybe he couldn’t find the time. Too many things to cram into a couple of hours.
He spoke about being visited in prison by former Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu. They had a conversation about the possibility of an Igbo being president. Kalu said an Igbo president would be difficult because the top Igbo people like him couldn’t agree on who that person should be. Kanu said this showed that for those politicians “self-preservation was their preoccupation”. Kanu also reported that in response to a request from Kalu about what the separatist could settle for short of Biafran independence, he listed demands such as “devolution back to the regions, essentially Aburi [the Aburi Accord was reached in 1967 in Ghana as an effort to avert the Nigerian civil war, it advocated semi-autonomy for Nigeria’s regions], seaport in Igweocha [Port Harcourt], Warri, Calabar, dredging of the River Niger, 100% resource control, deregulation of the power sector”. Nobody paid attention to his demands.
So Kanu was now all about boycotting the next election in Nigeria. It will be “total lockdown of Biafra Land”, especially during the presidential election. The quest for Biafra was “part of a strategy of making sure things are done properly”. For illustration, he pointed at Leah Sharibu, the Christian schoolgirl still being held hostage by Boko Haram, Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, still being detained despite being granted bail.
All these examples of misrule highlighted the fact that Nigeria was being led by a “certificate-less Buhari, a compound illiterate” and Kanu was “enraged” by this. Buhari “had no right to be president” and “we are not going to vote”. That’s easy for Kanu to say, considering he is in Israel and Nigerians abroad are not yet allowed to vote. People shouldn’t vote where “things are not done properly”. We were reminded again that Dasuki was still in jail, IPOB members celebrating the election of Donald Trump as US president were still in jail, Shia leader Ibraheem Zakzaky was still being detained. Additionally, Nigeria was a country in which soldiers were deployed to the streets instead of their traditional role of defending the country from external foes. They were doing the job of the police.
Next on the litany of woes for Kanu was the constitution, which was a “military constitution drawn up by Abdulsalam [Abubakar, the last military dictator, who stepped down to a civilian president in 1999]”. There was presumably no time to say what was actually wrong with the constitution. Things moved swiftly to reminding some people that have “forgotten” that the likes of Ayo Adebanjo said previously that there should be no election in 2019 without “restructuring”. Federal roads in Biafra Land were left in various stages of decay. With Nigeria the way it is, Kanu thought anyone asking him to vote must be mad. This may well be the case, but Kanu was showing signs of mental instability too and even admitting that some stuff about Nigeria was driving him insane.
He returned to his favourite subject – the Igbo leaders that allegedly plotted his demise. He was scheduled to meet them again on 22 September but they sent the army to his home on the 14th. He alleged that Ikpeazu said that more people would have died if Kanu wasn’t killed. He reminded listeners that those governors had “not paid you for three years” and just “paid you for eight months” because an election is in the horizon. Kanu directed them to “cripple the 2019 election and see positive change.”
Buhari was another target that Kanu loved to hit. The president “lied about his certificate, didn’t enroll for the exam and got to major-general without basic education”. Then it was nothing but derision for “the Igbo political class and leadership”, who are “the worst thing that can happen to our people”. They had all sold out, including Nwodo of Ohanaeze and other pro-Biafran groups.
The only people not to sell out are IPOB, “a project ordained by heaven”. But there were infiltrators and “saboteurs”, so the “family” needed to watch out for them, as they await Kanu’s “unmasking” of Buhari aka Jubril from Sudan next month. He reminded his “family” that he was the only one to call out Buhari without fear or favour. He said no other prominent person could even stand in front of Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, whom Kanu likened to a rat because of his diminutive stature, and tell the governor off.
Kanu said that Fani-Kayode predicted that any every Fulani president will die in office. So when Buhari died – allegedly – on 27 January 2017, Abba Kyari, his chief of staff, “was controlling the project” that “reincarnated” the dead president with a Sudanese body double. Kanu even alleged that Buhari’s opponent in the next presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, was aware of this body swap, but was part of the conspiracy because he is Fulani too.
If you don’t believe Kanu, it’s because you have been fooled by the Fulani. But you better believe that Kanu “will tear the zoo [Nigeria] to pieces” if his referendum wish was not granted. He said ominously that they have not “picked up arms yet” and the agitation was via microphone. He is not like corrupt Nigerian politicians, despite claims that he may be dipping his hands in the IPOD “defence fund”, because he is “whiter than white and whiter than snow”. Very strange imagery for a black man to use. His “mission in life is to restore Biafra and it will be restored”. This is because “God showed me a vision and God doesn’t go back on his word”.
By this time, Kanu was talking like he was speaking to his followers from Zion. He has been to the mountaintop and he has seen the Promised Land. He knows that IPOB are “the best people on earth. The Children of Light. The zoo is crumbling. The walls of Jericho are coming apart”. To the naysayers who think “Kanu is the problem”, he said “give me referendum”. He also was full of praise for his “able deputy” Uche Mefor, for remaining loyal when Kanu was out of circulation. He urged followers to buy Mefor a drink whenever they meet him.
At this point, I needed a drink too and wondered if Kanu was under the influence of something very strong, perhaps some spirits of the liquid, not heavenly, kind.