4 November 2018
Nnamdi Kanu, who calls himself the “leader” of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was back on Radio Biafra yesterday evening, spitting fire and brimstone about Biafran “restoration”, claiming that it was “scriptural” as “the time has come for Chukwu Okike Abiama to gather his people to return them where they belong”.
This place of belonging is Biafra. And God (Chukwu Okike Abiama) promised to “deliver us from the shackles and bondage” of the “Zoo” aka Nigeria. He told us he prayed seven times a day and his purpose on this earth was to serve his people.
Kanu barked a lot and seemed barking mad to this observer, who was neither medically qualified nor sold on Kanu’s dodgy theology. But the man himself had something to say about people like me who didn’t agree with him: “[God should] Let confusion be their portion and throw them into the pit”. While naysayers were trying to make themselves comfortable in the pit, Biafra will be restored and Kanu and his people will “build a temple at Arochukwu as of old” to “Chukwu Okike Abiama”.
Next at the wrong end of Kanu’s tongue-lashing was the “establishment” in the “damnable contraption” known as Nigeria, who have been spreading propaganda against IPOB’s call to boycott the Nigerian (s)elections in 2019. Nigerians wanted to vote because they were “not forensic, analytical or discerning enough to understand when we are being taken for a ride”. Was this really much of a revelation? Many Nigerians already know that politicians take the public for granted.
Then Kanu moved on to bigging up his Radio Biafra platform – it was the “greatest university”, the most powerful radio station and at a point the “number one radio station in the world”. There are certain ground rules for listening to Kanu, these include not expecting evidence to back up his claims. The mere fact that he said something makes it automatically true.
With that out of the way, Kanu focused on recent happenings in the “zoo”. “The zoo must fall and Biafra must rise up”. The “hows” were for others to worry about. He praised the “sacrifice of the Shia” and supporters of Ibraheem Zakzaky, over 40 of whom were shot by the Nigerian army last Monday for demanding the release of their leader. Kanu claimed their actions were “in line with IPOB”. The shooting of unarmed protesters was evidence of the “wickedness” of the administration of “the late Buhari”. Kanu was in no doubt whatsoever that President Muhammadu Buhari died last year and was buried in Saudi Arabia and the person Nigerians call their president is an “impostor” from Sudan known as “Jubril”.
The IPOB leader wondered why there was no outrage about the killing of Shi’ites from the media and the public. “Impunity” was being “committed” by the “British-backed Buhari government” and “nobody is rising up, no collective consciousness” against these crimes. What was happening in Nigeria was an “affront to humanity”, there was “no moral outrage, no righteous indignation”. All these were why “God in heaven hates Africa”.
Leaving the blasphemy aside, many Nigerians have condemned the crimes of the Buhari regime, on social media and on platforms like Naijiant.com. We have also made the case for prosecuting Buhari for crimes against humanity.
But the trouble with Kanu and his messiah complex is that he thinks he is the only one with a moral compass. So as far as he is concerned “the heart of a black man is evil” and “Nigeria is a satanic entity”. He claimed credit for the US government questioning Nigerian authorities for the shooting of Shi’ites: “I tweeted privately for the US to take action”. At least, he has not yet reached the stage of claiming to have a direct line to President Donald Trump. He, however, seemed to derive a lot of joy in disparaging black people – “something wrong with the brain of a black person”. The irony! Many listeners must have been wondering exactly the same thing about Kanu.
The next target was Buhari or “Jubril” – a “certificate-less impostor is the one presiding over the executive arm”. “The cabal were ruling the zoo headed by Abba Kyari [the president’s chief of staff], [national security adviser Babagana] Monguno, Mansur [Dan Ali, defence minister] and [Kaduna State governor Nasir] El Rufai”. These are the people that Kanu alleges pulled off the swindle of replacing the dead Buhari with “Jubril”, with the help of “extensive plastic surgery”. To prove this claim, Kanu said “Jubril” couldn’t speak Fulfulde, the Fulani language. The alleged impostor was also between 45-55, while Buhari is officially 75. Anyone in doubt should ask why the president doesn’t hold press conferences and should “look at his eyes and ears”. The clincher on the Buhari/Jubril matter was that “Chukwu Okike Abiama revealed Buhari was an impostor and his name”.
Kanu also seemed to suggest that this was why Buhari has refused to take part in a presidential debate before the next (s)election, claiming wrongly that Buhari took part in the last debate. Buhari took part in a presidential debate in 2011 and was such a disaster that he refused to participate in the next one in 2015.
The rant moved on to the claim that it was in Britain’s “national interest” that Nigeria remains “as it is, run by foolish Fulanis, so they can take what they want”, presumably oil and gas. Kanu didn’t seem to understand the finer points of the arguments against “national interest” – that there was no such thing and it was usually about elite interests.
He listed some of his demands – “a confederation” and “100% resource control based on ethnicity”. This ethnocentric approach to controlling resources seems to be an offshoot of his misguided claims about “national interest”. What does “100% resource control” mean for every individual from an ethnic group? The reality is that the majority are likely to be marginalised from those resources, with elites cornering a huge slice for themselves – maybe 99% control by the top 1% and the remaining 99% having to fight over the remaining 1% of resources. So Kanu was proving to be lacking in critical thought – something he has castigated black people for.
His other demand was the release of Zakzaky and former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki. Very few would argue against this since there have been court orders granting both men bail.
Kanu had nothing but contempt for those Igbos claiming that it would be a good idea to vote in the next (s)election, as an Igbo man – Peter Obi – stood a chance of becoming the next vice president. He asked what Igbo people gained when Alex Ekwueme was vice president. He said an Igbo man (Rotimi Amaechi) is the transport minister and the new rail lines being built didn’t pass through Igboland.
He then claimed that Biafra would not be like any other country in Africa. That was hard to believe considering the same Igbo elite, sitting at the top table in Nigeria, would be the ones running Biafra. Kanu claimed that if Biafra is going to be like Nigeria, he would prefer for Biafra not to come to fruition. But he knew Biafra won’t be like Nigeria because God has blessed Biafrans like he blessed the Jews.
Nigerians were people that loved bribery, for them it was “sweet like sugar”. When he was in detention, they offered him money and he wasn’t interested. He then claimed that he was the one that gave the Nigerian authorities the idea to revive the railways because it would create jobs. He was far gone up his high horse by this time, claiming that the BBC referred to him as a former estate agent. Kanu seemed to be suggesting he was some kind of expert in railways, perhaps as an engineer. The BBC allegedly tried to belittle him by claiming he lived in a “council flat” in Peckham. He gave out his address as “30 Sandlings Close” and “it is a house”.
He then slammed Igbo people that didn’t support the man trying to “liberate” them, but many of them wanted to “get American visas”. They didn’t know “Nnamdi Kanu is doing exactly what [George] Washington did”. He claimed that Igbos shouldn’t want to remain in Nigeria because they are “despised” and they can’t “be in the same country as natural born killers”. Those “killers” “indoctrinate and initiate” a few Igbos into “cults” that support the system. Again, this was delivered with no sense of irony. Any casual observation of Kanu and his IPOB “family” would see cult-like tendencies – secret oaths, absolute devotion to the “Supreme Leader”, lack of tolerance of opposition and beliefs in the divinity of their cause.
While Nigerians “celebrate mediocrity”, Kanu found the time to praise the late journalist Dele Giwa – a man of “unimpeachable integrity”, very much unlike many journalists today, who take money to toe the official line and fail to report the reality of Nigeria. He said those who think that if it wasn’t Buhari in charge that things could be better, should ask themselves how things were when Olusegun Obasanjo was president. He seemed to believe that a Fulani like Buhari being in charge made things worse, asking listeners if they know of any Fulani “philosophers” or a Fulani that has written a book. A man who claims that black people are not “forensic” hadn’t bothered to research his claims about Fulani people. One of Africa’s greatest thinkers was Thomas Sankara, a Fulani revolutionary and leader of Burkina Faso. Arguably one of Nigeria’s finest minds was the late history professor Yusufu Bala Usman, the author of several books such as “For the liberation of Nigeria”, “The manipulation of religion in Nigeria”, “Nigeria against the IMF: The home market strategy”, “Political repression in Nigeria”, and others.
This is the problem with Kanu and his ethnocentric world view. You blind yourself to the reality of people you consider “other” just on the basis of their “otherliness” and the facts don’t seem to matter.
But Kanu is entirely consumed by his self-proclaimed “gospel of redemption”. He said would “forgive the cabal” if they “release Jubril and send him back to Sudan”. Next came a long rant that took in “the tendency of Africans to gravitate towards evil and deceit” and moved towards the long-running saga of Buhari’s school certificate. Kanu said Nigeria was a “forged country with a forged president and a forged certificate”. He seemed unaware that his recent claims to Jewishness could also be seen as “forged”.
By this time, reasoning had left the building Kanu was broadcasting from. We were told that: “Any nation that tries to stop Biafra will be destroyed. Biafra will be a sacrifice to Elohim [a Hebrew name for God], with our temple in Arochukwu” revived. At this point, Kanu must have been at it for close to two hours. I couldn’t speak for other listeners, but this one was losing the will to live, as Kanu resorted to repeating himself – “certificate-less president, Jubril from Sudan” and so on.
This was Kanu’s third broadcast since resurfacing in Jerusalem after going missing, following an army raid of his home in Afaraukwu, Abia State in September last year. He is remarkably certain that his Biafran dream is coming closer with every single day. But with each single broadcast, he may end up removing any lingering doubts that he is barking mad.