Opinion: Nnamdi Kanu’s Illegal Detention Is Buhari’s Bait To Generate Carnage
by Emeka Ibe
As a schooled human rights canvasser and advocate, I believe in the rights of any distinct set of people to exist on their own as a country or to determine their political future, irrespective of their inherent political reality or entity. This is an internationally recognized right which is essentially enshrined in the opening articles of the UN Charter. This right is otherwise called the right to self-determination of any homogeneous group of people like the Igbo, Idoma, Yoruba, Efik, Urhobo, Hausa, Fulani, Gbagyi, Igala, etc. of Nigeria. This right has been in existence since 1948 and therefore, precedes an independent Nigeria.
I don’t believe in violent agitations or any secessionist agenda that is replete with acerbic recriminations against the Nigerian establishment or animosity and hate for other tribes or sections of the country. This is my sole ground for not supporting Nnamdi Kanu’s quest and approach towards the realization of Biafra.
It’s not a crime to advocate for Biafra through peaceful means. So, the hysteria that engulfs most Nigerians whenever the word ‘Biafra’ is mentioned is unnecessary and uncalled for, especially because it merely evokes an emotional feeling which borders of sentiments.
Biafra, as mentioned in Nigeria today, does not necessarily translate to geographical dismemberment of Nigeria. It further has a very deep philosophical meaning which is usually lost on the fancy of most Nigerians who view it with contempt. On one hand, it only requires listening to flimsy and inane ‘beer palour’ tales and gossips or reading viral mongering propaganda to fall victim to the hoax that Biafra literally means the end of Nigeria. On the other hand, it entails a conscious effort at studying Nigeria’s chequered political history (which most Nigerians who don’t like reading hardly do), to come to terms with the philosophical essence of Biafra.
Permit me to limit this piece to what Biafra is not, as to do otherwise will involve an abstract journey along a tortuous path, with the potential of losing many readers along the political matrix. That’s a case for another lens.
The reason for this write-up is to alert Nigerians that Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and charged to a competent court by Buhari’s Directorate for State Security (DSS). The court found that the preferred charges are bailable and granted him bail upon the fulfillment of stipulated onerous and stiff conditions.
His lawyers have made a press release where they informed the whole world that the bail conditions were satisfied, but the DSS refused to release him, attributing their refusal to “orders from above”. Meanwhile, Nnamdi Kanu, a certified diabetic patient, is kept incommunicado and denied any visitor whatsoever, including his lawyers or doctor.
His lawyers have gone back to court to report this wanton disobedience of the court’s order, prompting the court to summon the DSS, with an order that Nnamdi Kanu be produced in court. But on the appointed date, the DSS neglected, failed or refused to re-appear in court.
The unlawful detention of Nnamdi Kanu has precipitated series of protests by his numerous supporters in the South/South and South/East zones of the country who are demanding his unconditional release, with a resultant lockdown of most towns in that region. It is remarkable to note that the protesters are unarmed and have so far conducted themselves peacefully all through, despite provocations to stir violence by security agents who have shot and killed so many of them.
It is also noteworthy to state that the real reason for the protests, viz: unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, as sanctioned by the court, has been surreptitiously jettisoned by the Nigerian Government and replaced with another one, viz: protests for the secession of Biafra, which the Nigerian Government considers a better cloak under which to hatch their vile and evil plans to kill and maim the protesters, as has been the norm in Nigeria. This, a lot of thinking Nigerians believe, is the reason behind the continued illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu – keep him incommunicado to arouse protests by his associates and supporters, then exterminate them when they file out in the open. It was therefore not surprising to see the GOC of the Nigerian Army 82nd Division, Enugu, on national television yesterday, reading a military riot act to unarmed civilian protesters.
One wonders what the military rules of engagement read on air to the protesters by the GOC are meant for in a case of peaceful protests by unarmed citizens of a country. Are we at war? Has any protester been sighted with any weapon of any nature – even a stick? Does engaging in civil protests amount to enmity with Nigeria? Is the right to civil protest no longer applicable in Nigeria? Who is trying to fool who that we’re in a democracy? Why is nobody telling President Buhari that a court order must be obeyed by all and sundry in any constitutional democracy that intends to be reckoned with.
Meanwhile, President Buhari was busy in Abuja, inaugurating his ministers that took 6 months to select, without any iota of concern for the fact that the entire former Eastern Region of Nigeria was on lockdown by civil protesters demanding for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, which release and guaranteed freedom had been ordered by the law of the land. Perhaps, this is another glimpse of the clannishness or multi-ethnic insensitivity often attributed to Buhari.
This is a foreboding solely aimed at putting the records straight, as the callous shedding of further innocent Igbo blood (or any other innocent blood indeed) through state sponsored sinister machinations will no longer be tolerated in the world of today.
Emeka Ibe is a legal practitioner and political commentator. He studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.