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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Kanu: The struggle so far

Kanu: The struggle so far

“Biafra is the only reason why I live; that was something none of you knew” – Nnamdi Kanu.

Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, did not start his Biafra independence struggle today. In fact, he started it more than 20 years ago. This made it possible for him to garner a lot of experiences that today – in words and deeds – he exudes unparalleled optimism about the coming of Biafra. Apart from that, his optimism also stems from the fact that he had faced many controversies and challenges in the struggle, and yet surmounted them all.

On Friday, January 29 (tomorrow), he will be in court again to continue the struggle. But how much do you know of the Biafra struggle from Kanu’s angle? It is important to update the world at this point.

Arrest and Detention: When the Department of State Security (DSS) arrested (kidnapped) him on December 14, many people thought he was new to arrests and detentions. But he was not. Several times in the past, he has experienced it.Coming into the country during his earlier days in the struggle, he was apprehended at the airport in Lagos for coming in with many Biafran artifacts. On discovering that he had association with Ralph Uwazuruike the leader of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), he was instantly flown to Abuja, Nigerian capital, under heavy security. There, he was detained in solitary confinement for more than three months.

Paucity of funds :The challenge of how to get funds to run Radio Biafra, Biafra Television, and the Biafran struggle has always been a critically one before Nnamdi Kanu and his colleagues. Even today that challenge persists.This is because no politician funds Radio Biafra and IPOB activities. It is funded solely by ordinary Biafran people. Many people would not understand this; neither would they understand that Kanu’s January 24, 2016 court appearance, presented the latest development of a story that started long before 2009 when Radio Biafra was established.

Kanu established the Radio Station in collaboration with Uwazuruike’s MASSOB. Then the station was broadcasting two hours daily on shortwave frequency. MASSOB provided up to 60 per cent of the funding for the airtime, while the funds for the studio, the equipment and balance of airtime was provided by Kanu. The IPOB leader is an Economic Consultant, a graduate of Political Economics from what is known today as London Metropolitan University. He is a British citizen.

Radio Biafra then was more of a talk-show with panel of discussants. After discussing issues of the day, which usually had relationship with Biafra, Biafrans, and their travails, the phone lines were usually opened to receive uncensored calls from people (especially Biafrans) from all over the world.
Unfortunately, things later got awry when Uwazuruike fell out with Kanu and his Radio Biafra crew members who did not politicians to help fund the station. Uwazuruike had already pledged his support to some politicians in Nigeria, and was predisposed to using the radio station to campaign for them. But Kanu and members of the crew did not want politicians to have a hand in what they were doing. As hardcore Biafrans, they did not want anything to do with politics. They reasoned that it would pose a very big distraction for the struggle.

Before Uwazuruike could do anything about it, they started campaigning that Biafrans should boycott the elections of 2011. As a result of this, Uwazuruike declined honouring MASSOB’s own side of the bargain, which is to forward funds for the station’s airtime. This was the reason Radio Biafra ceased transmission in 2009.However, in 2013, Kanu, UcheMefor, and Emma Nmezu, and other hardcore Biafrans were able to resurrect the radio station, but first by broadcasting online.

MASSOB:  Apart from the fact that Kanu fell out with Uwazuruike and MASSOB as a result of mixing the struggle with politics, they also fell out because Uwazuruike turned the group into a criminal organisation, which was busy terrorizing Biafrans rather than fight the enemies of Biafra.
Kanu once told his own side of the story when some MASSOB members confronted him on air, accusing him of selling out on the struggle. Part of his explanation was: “Uwazuruike, your master, came to see me in London in the summer of 2009 and asked me to print Biafran Passport for sale. I told him no. I introduced him to Coleman Asomba in South Africa to coordinate our agitation but when he (Uwazuruike) got there they concentrated on printing passports. People started calling Radio Biafra to enquire if the new Biafran passport was a legal tender as BBC Africa had carried the news. I gavethem an honest opinion that Biafran Passport printed could not get them into the mythical 99 countries that recognized MASSOB.”
Kanu explained also that “Uwazuruike rejected the involvement of Igbo intelligentsia and failed to allow consultation to happen between us and Igbo elders.”

It was at this point that the whole relationship turned sour. Uwazuruike first declared Kanu wanted, and then called on the Nigerian Police to arrest him and his colleagues at Radio Biafra when they gave out the information that they were coming home to consult with him and other MASSOB members. Uwazuruike described them as trouble makers who were on a mission to disrupt the elections.
That was why on December 19, Uwazuruike’s boys wentin 10 buses to kidnap Kanu from his father’s compound in Afara, Ibeku in Umuahia, Abia State. They took him to Okwe in Okigwe, Imo State, which is MASSOB headquarters (Uwazuruike’s home-town).

Kanu narrated his ordeal: “You hungry fellas stole my clothes, wrist watch and money. Some of you spat at me, some poured urine on me. You fooled them into believing I was a traitor to cover the fact that you people are the traitors. You tried to humiliate me in the hope that I will be silenced forever but you failed. In your stupidity you made a video tape of the whole torture and kidnapping in the hope of using it to blackmail me into silence. You threatened to release the video if I criticized MASSOB criminal activities again. Little did you know the video was the proof that the world needed to confirm that MASSOB was a full time crime empire.

“The worst mistake MASSOB made was to let me leave their Okwe torture chamber alive. If they had the intention of continuing in their criminality they should have killed me. Biafra is the only reason why I live; that was something none of you knew.”
In the final analyses, Kanu had no disagreement with MASSOB members, but with its leadership and those who follow the leadership foolishly.

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2 comments

  1. he was kidnapd on 14 october nt december. Kanu's grace i desire.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, was never aware of such procecusion from your own people, You wil surely live to actualise this great dream God bless Biafra!

    ReplyDelete

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