2 December 2018
Last week Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), promised to “unmask with DNA evidence” the “impostor Jubril from Sudan” who has allegedly been used by the “Fulani cabal” to replace President Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari, as the Kanu tall tales go, died in January last year and rather than let the vice president take over as the law says, the cabal brought in a body double from Sudan.
In his broadcast on the internet-based Radio Biafra last week, Kanu, who recently turned up in Israel after missing, following a military raid of his compound in September last year, claimed that it was clear that the person posing as Nigeria’s president is not Buhari. Very little of Kanu’s claims stacked up. But he said he had DNA evidence and was going to present it in yesterday’s broadcast.
However, there wasn’t even a mention of DNA, just a recycling of the same old questionable claims, empty boasts and the occasional truth about Nigeria. In the absence of DNA evidence, Kanu resorted to repetition. He claimed that Buhari was taller than Senate President Bukola Saraki in 2015 and “Jubril” is now shorter. This is just not true.
From then on, listeners were subjected to bombast and a lot of stuff that just didn’t add up. He said “IPOB members are the most enlightened and educated people in Africa”. That claim was fatally undermined by some of the comments from their leader. He said God didn’t create Nigeria, as if that was a major revelation. But there is no country on earth created by God.
He then mocked Buhari for going to a climate change summit in Poland. He said Nigeria was the biggest contributor to carbon emissions because “everyone had a generator” due to non-existent electricity supply from the public grid. The biggest polluters in terms of carbon emissions are industrialised countries, with China as the biggest offender, followed by the US, and Nigeria close to the bottom of the list because it doesn’t have the heavy industries that pump tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
Then it was the regular foaming in the mouth about the “Yoruba media” and gems such as: “Nobody steals more public funds than Fulani people. To Yoruba Muslims, the Fulani are their gods”. Then chest-beating such as: “If you challenge me, I will shred you to pieces” and “I am not your typical black African man. I don’t reason like them”. It was pretty clear economics was not his forte when he claimed that: “Babangida had a very spectacular plan for the Nigerian economy.” Ibrahim Babangida was the military dictator who brought in the IMF’s “structural adjustment programme” (SAP) that hastened Nigeria’s descent into basket case conditions. Babangida didn’t really know the first thing about economics, but he surrounded himself with “Washington Consensus” disciples and the failure of their policies was indeed “spectacular”.
It was instructive listening to Kanu praise Babangida. The IPOB leader has a lot more in common with the failed rulers of Nigeria than he would care to admit. Even more so after this broadcast, which must be testing the patience of even his most fanatical followers. He told them last week that he will “unmask Jubril with DNA evidence” during his next broadcast, but “DNA” in this case stood for “Did Not Appear”. Like many Nigerian politicians, Kanu promised so much and delivered so little.