Love Nnamdi Kanu or loathe him. You cannot ignore him. He is young, bold and brave. He took a path young politicians of Nigeria, feared or failed to walk on, in our nation’s political turbulence. He came and disturbed our nation’s conscience. He was the proverbial gunpowder waiting to explode. Nnamdi exploded to national prominence with his call for a separate entity from Nigeria, threatening death and destruction to his once nation which in later years, he branded a “zoo”. Nnamdi was once a Nigerian patriot. But for his “thuggery”, lack of discipline, careless utterances and unchecked rage, Nnamdi Kanu would have succeeded in his call to arms struggle for the secession of Biafra.
Young Nigerians from East, West, North, South, paid attention to his defiance, commitment and courageous challenge to our rotten system. He brought to the forefront of our existence, sacred conversations, previously whispered in certain corners of our political frontiers. Nnamdi Kanu pricked the conscience of a troubled nation with a history of mismanagement, corruption, disenfranchisement, insincerity, and neglect of its everyday people, especially its youths. Those who were left behind by the system, privileged him attention, affection, welcome his selection as their inspirational leader, to deliver them from the ineptitudes of Nigeria. Nnamdi saw this acceptance and adoration from his people, thus, took a chance, but rather, as a separatist. If Nnamdi had been a nationalist, with an inclusive brand product and messaging for all Nigerians, I swear: I would have abandoned all things bright and beautiful to join him.
Despite his separatist agenda, he poked the ethnic and moral principles of our nation: he demanded we engaged ourselves as different ethnic groups: We did. We became our enemies: our best friends from different regions suddenly turned against us as our worse enemies, neighbors could no longer respond to early morning salutations from across the walkways because tribes and tongues differ: we became divisive with insults and dehumanization of our being. We lost our humanity and dignity as one people, under God. Nnamdi Kanu separated us. The wounds may later heal. The scars would be reminders that Kanu was here.
Nigeria, times are changing: we cannot continue to ignore what led to the anger and rage. The government cannot proscribe and declare Nnamdi’s platform, IPOB, as a terror group without addressing their grievances. Their reasons are our reasons as a nation in distress: the time is NOW. Let us examine the causes of our rage. Every tribe in Nigeria complained, through the years, of alleged marginalization by the Northern ethnic group. Most Ethic groups in Nigeria are treated as second-class citizens in our homeland. This may rattle my dear Northern friends. But we cannot continue to deny our problems: Plenty Nnamdis would be birthed very soon if attempts are not made to level the playing field.
Sadly, Ndigbos have turned their silent protests into a movement for the creation of Biafra nation. It did not start today. It may not end tomorrow as long as the government remains passive about these brazen problems. It is time to listen to our complaints, recognize these problems and proffer a permanent solution. Every Nigerian should be guaranteed equality, equity, and fairness.
Ndigbos too should examine that which makes a great culture separate and unequal. Ndigbos are the most divisive ethnic group, among themselves, in Nigeria. Affluence, influence and morbid archaic cultural beholdings continue to create a clash of class within different Ndigbo nations. It’s time to revisit the Efulefu, “Oshu Outcasts” and other nonsensical primitive cultural norms that are retrogressive, dehumanizing and not dignifying to a unique and amazingly industrious and brilliant people.
The next Nnamdi Kanu will certainly come with a more appealing message.
He shall be prepared and shall not fail. The next Nnamdi Kanu’s appeal shall penetrate beyond marginalization of a people, he shall call to action, awaken the minds and souls of disenfranchised unemployed brilliant Nigerians, young, old and dying. Guess what? Nigerians shall gravitate to his message of empowerment, of taking back Nigeria from an institutionalized ruling class, to we, the people.
The Next Nnamdi Kanu may not throw sticks and stones or wield machetes at the Army, carelessly insult and abuse leaders, elders, grass root leaders, Kings and other custodians of our cultural and tribal institutions: he definitely would not come under Ipob’s platform. He shall walk our paths, urge Nigerians to get ready and take back our country from corrupt jack-booted politicians and past military authoritarianisms. The next Nnamdi Kanu shall be larger than him and broader than Biafra. I await that. What about you?