Grimot Nane Zine

The Blood of Nnamdi Kanu: Exit From Nigeria

When we say the ‘blood of Nnamdi Kanu’, there is no intention to link it to the ‘blood of Jesus’ for that will be blasphemy and an unnecessary if not foolish comparison. However, the blood of Nnamdi Kanu is becoming more important every day in the future and stability of the state of Nigeria; his obtusely directed detention has made him the stuff of an unlikely hero to millions.  He who spills Kanu’s blood shall bring great misfortune to himself and the nation of Nigeria; sooner or later. Dismiss the young man, Kanu, but can you dismiss the concerns and support his cause celebre status has had on Igbo and non-Igbo Nigerians?

Nnamdi Kanu is a Nigerian with intense secessionist aspirations; there are many like him in every ethnic group in Nigeria as we all know at local government, state and nationa levels. As much as prominent intellectuals Nigerian intellectuals, Igbo and non-Igbo even anti-Igbo ones by their previous pronouncements, have called vehemently for Kanu’s release and a high court judge has pronounced his release, he remains detained by the Government of Nigeria (GON). Ha Ha Ha! Is Nigeria a democracy governed by the Rule of Law? Your doubt may be much greater than mine.

Those who claim Nnamdi Kanu is a “terrorist” or leads a “terrorist organisation”, should reasonably demonstrate what terrorist actions he or his organisation have perpetrated? It is absolutely shocking that organisations that exist in Nigeria solely by funding from international donors that exclusively support “human rights organisations” dedicatedly called for the detention and sentencing of Kanu for his Radio Biafra antics as well as the classification of the media entity as a “terrorist organisation”. In future such donors should thoroughly blacklist any human rights groups in Nigeria with a history inhumanity, unjustified public bias and tribalism. Human rights is for everyone and not selectively or biasedly applied or to be abused for an income. Go check out the United Nations Human Rights Charter.

Oppression and irresponsibility are what they are and the GON is embodying them as much as it chooses, with impunity. In Nigeria electricity is scarce, clean water is scarce, students have to engage in robbery and prostitution to acquire an education, hundreds of thousands die yearly due to road accidents and derisory health care, millions are plagued by hunger, corruption occurs at levels that far exceed story-lines in Hollywood movies etc. yet the GON considers Biafra and Radio Biafra to be national governance priorities. That is a government that is neither serious nor ready to work.

It must be stated that Nnamdi Kanu is purely a social entrepreneur with a radio station, Radio Biafra, and his enterprise is the realisation of the State of Biafra. There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever if the United Nations Charter is still an effective point of reference. Gani Adams has a genuine right to advocate of the Oduduwa Republic. Dokubo Asari has a genuine right to advocate for the Ijaw Republic. Would there be anything wrong with Radio Kanuri, Radio Tiv, Radio Urhobo, Radio Igala, or Radio Efik; significant but viciously marginalised ethnic groups in Nigeria. There exists ethnic groups that are exclusively ‘judge and jury’ in these matters, sadly, only to strengthen their domination. Kanu’s set-up is a social enterprise; the practicalities and actualisation of the independent State of Biafra is a totally different matter.

As I have stated in the article The Government Has Jumped Up Biafra (see, Kanu lacks the resources and capital to start or bring about the realisation of the State of Biafra practically, what he has is only intellectuals capital; the capital to keep the hope of Biafra “alive” in the minds of Igbos and non-Igbos. We must never underestimate the desire of non-Igbos for the State of Biafra because it means they too can have their own desired states as an “exit” from the Nigerian state as Eghosa Osaghae wrote in his seminal 1999 paper. Many ethnic groups want to exit Nigeria and its wincheously biased political economy and its faux federal character. Will the blood of Nnamdi Kanu be that “catalyst of exit”?

There is trouble looming though, if just only potential. If Kanu were to die in custody. Or develop an incurable or progressively fatal disease in custody. Or meet his demise shortly after his release. Or lose his sanity in custody or after his release. Or is bitten by a snake and dies. The consequences might be monumental. He who spills the blood of Kanu or the government that spills it or the nation that spills it will know no peace but not because any individual particularly desires such. Nigeria will be a much more unstable place to govern and live if Kanu’s blood is spilt because he represents the strong desires of millions of Nigerians, Igbo and non-Igbo. Kanu’s blood will be that of a genuine martyr; the possibilities of martyrdom are unlimited. Nobody knows the consequences of spilling a martyr’s blood in advance.

When you start hearing successful young people – millionaires, elected politicians, intellectuals and the like –  from different Nigerian ethnic groups actively admiring and envying Nnamdi Kanu for the status GON has thrust upon him, you know something unusual is happening. The GON has either underestimated or ignored the overwhelming desire of Nigerians to ‘exit’ the nation. There is only so much that oil money and the control of the ‘Owners of Nigeria Technostructure’ (ONT) can do to hold Nigeria together. The ignorance of the exploited Niger Deltans and the ‘Islamised’ feudalism of the North, for instance have ended. That is why people in those regions have no respect any longer for the ONT-controlled GON and are ready to take up arms.

If the GON chooses to keep Kanu in detention, it is their privilege but a totally misplaced one and one that can lead to untold bloodbaths. History has taught us that the cost of such heavy handedness often leads to something more than the current or future GON may be able to handle. Will it start with Nnmadi Kanu’s blood?

Grimot Nane

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