|Biafran child holding a placard|
The arrest and continued detention of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu – the operator and Director of now famous Radio Biafra – by President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is, to say the least, one ignominious show of lack of good understanding of the values, tenets, practices and principles of democracy and/or democratic governance on the part of the person of Muhammadu Buhari – which is a complete negation of and clear departure from the dictates of the same system which avails him the rare opportunity of junketing around the world to be pontificating about democracy, freedom of all sorts, self-determination and all that jazz (yet these are all virtues he does not respect at the home front).
And this whole thing about the continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and General Buhari’s false democratic disposition is increasingly becoming worrisome considering the apparent quiet which has of late engulfed the activities of the civil societies in Nigeria and those of the elements who are wont to parade themselves as human rights activists and representatives of foreign Non- Government Organization operating in Nigeria. Little wonder that Muhammadu Buhari-led government is currently and perniciously building up a new brand of impunity which for now seems not to matter or constitute a grave threat to the lives and interests of all those who in no time, but sooner than later, will take up the gauntlet in a bid to contain his (Buhari’s) dangerously developing excesses.
Arguably, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is being accused by the Buhari-led government of using the medium of Radio Biafra to be mobilizing the people of South-East, and perhaps the South-South, geo-political region of Nigeria for the burgeoning clamour for separation or independence from the mere “geographical expression” called Nigeria. This, among other accusations, is perceived to be the ostensible reason for the unlawful and continued incarceration of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu without trial or conviction. And like Nelson Mandela, Nnamdi Kanu has become a prisoner of conscience.
Incidentally, Kanu’s tormentors – apparently led by President Muhammadu Buhari – believe that what he allegedly does with the Radio Biafra in the Diaspora or perhaps in the United Kingdom where the station is reportedly registered and licensed to operate, amounts to an offence in Nigeria. Though it still boggles one’s mind what that actual offence is which the Federal government has reportedly and covertly charged Nnamdi Kanu with before a magistrate court at Wuse in Abuja and following which he was reportedly granted bail, yet the Buhari-led government sees no sense or wisdom in abiding by the common principles of the rule of law and/or in respecting the basic provisions of both our municipal laws (as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended) and those of the International laws as contained in charters, treaties, etc, on the fundamental human rights of peoples demanding for self-determination, all of which the Nigeria state is a key signatory to.
Now come to think of it, granted that the Radio Biafra is registered and/or licensed to operate in the United Kingdom and in which case its operator – Nnamdi Kanu – implicitly pays tax for it and other dues that inhere in such operation and as and when due, the question that follows is: who then is to be held responsible by Buhari-led government between Nnamdi Kanu and the relevant British regulatory authorities for whatever content being aired by the Radio Biafra? Again, given that the relevant British authorities so far have not seen or found good cause to either withdraw the license or permission given for the operation of the Radio Biafra in whatever form or deemed its content harmful, threatening or outrageous to either a section of mankind or humanity in general, contrary to the unnecessary alarm and fear being raised by a section of media in Nigeria, what then is the actual offence for sake of which Nnamdi Kanu is being tormented and incarcerated by Muhammadu Buhari government?
Moreover, if indeed President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is scared and deeply concerned about the messages and the general content being aired on the Radio Biafra from outside Nigeria, then what on earth for goodness sake stops this President of the so-called giant of African from effectively exploring and employing all diplomatic and technological means possible in combating the challenges posed by the existence of this pirate radio station, rather than merely chasing shadows by descending on Nnamdi Kanu in the false belief that this is one way of suppressing the unabated, ubiquitous and strong demand for the independence of the Republic of Biafra, out of Nigeria? Funny enough, the same President Muhammadu Buhari who now takes delight in tormenting Nnamdi Kanu in the DSS dungeon – simply because he is an Igbo demanding publicly that his people be granted independence from this mere “geographical expression” called Nigeria – had recently demanded that “the Palestinian people and those of the Western Sahara” be obliged their legitimate demands for self-determination to the United Nations, forthwith.
While delivering his speech on 28th September, 2015, during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, President Muhammadu Buhari had enthused before the world leaders that: “As we engage in these annual debates, we need remind ourselves of the principles that led to the founding of the United Nations. Among those are peaceful co-existence and self-determination of peoples. In the context, Mr. President, the unresolved question of self-determination for the Palestinian people and those of Western Sahara, both nations as qualifying for this inalienable right must now be assured and fulfilled without any further delay or obstacle”.
Of course, these are the exact words of President Muhammadu Buhari at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, USA. Yet this is the same man back at home, contradicting in reality the same gospel he felt comfortable preaching to other people in New York. And here we are with the same President Muhammadu Buhari who will not stop at anything in suppressing the Igbo who obviously share similar fate with the people of Palestine in terms of their common demands for autonomy; a President who has elected himself as the new spokesman for the Palestinians at the international arena.
What is more, it is quite provocative and excruciatingly disturbing that even President Muhammadu Buhari clearly has no illusions about the gross immorality and sheer wickedness associated with not just his continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu in the DSS dungeon, but equally his apparent use of the security apparatchiks to harass, intimidate and even to kill members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and their MASSOB brethren. And nothing speaks volumes about this deliberate, wicked and deplorable attitude towards these armless self-determination agitation groups than Buhari’s instructive remark to the UN General Assembly session to the effect that “neither do we have the moral right to deny any people their freedom or condemn them indefinitely to occupation and blockade”. Conversely, this is exactly the same right that President Muhammadu Buhari is desperately striving to establish for himself here with the intent to wield it against the Igbo and other folks who share in the cause of the ongoing clamour for an independent Biafra.
Today, having been pushed to the wall by the Hauas-Fulani herdsmen with their novel wave of kidnap terror and other associated atrocities being launched in Yoruba land, the Yoruba folks are thus impelled to begin to bemoan and rethink their partnership in the Lugardian project called Nigeria. Not surprisingly, therefore, the Yoruba are now threatening to pull out of Nigeria in the face of the rising tide of the Hausa-Fulani (herdsmen) malaise and sundry other ugly trends unfolding under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari. In other words, the Yoruba too appear to be weary of the project called Nigeria and are now inclined to express it as evidenced in their latest secessionist threat which is somewhat comparable with the ongoing agitation for a Republic of Biafra (?). Yet, President Muhammadu Buhari only views Nnamdi Kanu, because he is an Igbo, as a genuine threat to be dealt with over the same agitation for self-determination (?).
Anyway, it is high time all Nigerians and, especially, members of the international community began to impress it on President Muhammadu Buhari to not only release Mr. Nnamdi Kanu before anything ill befalls him in the DSS dungeon, but also to leave him alone henceforth bearing in mind that he (Mr. Kanu) and his ilk are merely exercising their “inalienable right” to demand for self-determination like the Palestinians whose cause and demand for self-determination did receive a tremendous fillip from Mr. Muhammadu Buhari before the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Needless to remind Mr. President, at this juncture, that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Source: Global Reporters.
Onyiorah Paschal Chiduluemije writes from Abuja via [email protected] (07012130204). He can be reached on facebook or on twitter @onyiorahpaschal.