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TO DE-ESCALATE THIS VIOLENCE: FREE NNAMDI KANU – BY UBANI DANNIE

Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, later President Olusegun Obasanjo, is a war veteran. It was his operational strategy code named OPS TAILWIND that collapsed Biafra with the final surrender in January, 1970.

In his book, My Command, Gen. Obasanjo claimed that the Nigerian forces encircled Biafra in such a way that they would have killed President Ojukwu if he wanted but he preferred capturing him alive.

Why?

Killing President Ojukwu would have made Ojukwu a martyr thereby escalating the violence and prolonging the war. To understand the obsessive influence of martyrdom, simply bring your mind to bear on the strong allure of the killed and risen Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of christianity.

Again, Yomi Johnson killed Samuel Doe but that only escalated the crisis in Liberia as Doe’s Krahn tribe saw him as a martyr. American forces killed Gaddafi but his killing only escalated the crisis in Libya as his loyalists even outside his tribe of Sirte still see and rever him as a martyr. Even the killing of a world acclaimed terrorist like Osama Bin Laden has only steeled the resolve of Islamic extremists as they still see him as a martyr. The list goes on and on.

Yesterday was a Monday. It was another sit-at-home as decreed by IPOB. South Easterners lost billions. South East economy is an informal one with most of our people operating as petty traders. South East Governors, Ohanaeze and the Igbo political leadership couldn’t have legislated or ordered otherwise simply because they are not in control.

Take it or leave it, neither Ohaneze nor South East socio-political leaders are in control. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, even from the dungeons of DSS, is in total control and firmly in charge.

The handling of the killing spree and such other orgies of violence pervading Igbo Land has once again made me to question the mental health of those who pride themselves as our leaders.

Prominent people are being mowed down. Houses are going up in flames. Hitherto sacred grounds are being desecrated with blood. Security formations are being run over with ease. Elections are threatened not to hold in Anambra. Yet, our supposed leaders are playing the ostrich of burying their corrupt heads in the sand of 2023.

Which 2023? – I dare ask.

Who else but a fool goes about chasing rats when his house is on fire?

For now, it is only but a spark of fire yet, the rich and powerful cannot move about easily in Anambra State. The possibilities are rather high that it would soon snowball to a conflagration, and when it does… Well, it is only but the mad that wonders if the ceiling equally got burnt alongside the house.

To de-escalate the tension and end all these bloodletting, simply release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. You may not like his person. His style may not appeal to your sense of decency but no one can truly fault the lucidity of the truth that is his message.

The marginalisation and ill treatment of Ndi Igbo by the Nigerian political establishment, and the greed and obtuse insensitivity of the Igbo ruling class created the necessity of an Nnamdi Kanu in the first place. And having created him, he could now be likened to an obstinate fly that is perching on the scrotum that needs to be handled with utmost caution.

As a matter of calling a spade by it’s name, for whatever it is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a political prisoner and should be treated as such. The Igbo political leadership should, as a matter of urgency, rally round and impress ot it on Abuja to find a political solution to free him. The boys are already out in the street. And hunger and hopelessness have stolen the humanity in them. Shout as anyone might, no other voice other than the voice of Nnamdi Kanu can rail them back.

I have observed and analysed the whole situation. One bitter but obvious truth which oir leaders do not want to say is this:

The more Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is detained, the more this violence escalates. And should he be killed or given the Abiola treatment, he would have died a martyr. In that case, that ugly situation which Gen. Obasanjo carefully avoided in 1970 would have befallen Nigeria in 2021. God forbid!

To save what could be saved – free Nnamdi Kanu now.

 

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