BY CHRIS I. GRAIG
As a disciplined international analyst, I have declined comments or articles on this Nigerian issue- the issue of Nnamdi Kanu-IPOB and Nigeria made a continental tabloid following the quit notice issued by a section of the country, which moved my gut. The inability of Nigeria to understand that when a man becomes an institution he should be treated politically has forced my hand. I cannot endure another round of protest all over Europe and institutional offices for the sake of one man. This has lingered enough that I feel if Nigeria cannot solve the problem, then they should kill it by all means. If the man has become an institution; you must arrest his body if you want to arrest him. Terminate IPOB before arresting Nnamdi Kanu, but if IPOB stands, arresting him is killing Nigeria and threatening her existence, because it will become a disturbance to the civilized world like ours.
As in a game of chess there is a successive play and having lost the first round, there is now permutation to get a win in this second round. Nnamdi Kanu won in the first round when Muhammadu Buhari ordered his arrest only for it to backfire. The situation made Nnamdi Kanu a hero to the extent that a section of the country chose to sacrifice their lives for the leader they believe and trust.
By the time Buhari could understand that Justice Ademola who discharged and acquitted him took the best decision in the interest of Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu had evolved into an international figure – one influential enough to diplomatically hurt Nigeria. The mistake has been made and there is no way to get things fixed; Nnamdi Kanu’s continued detention makes him more popular and Biafra quest more colorful. State option will demand total negligence to correct the mistake but he would try so much to avoid negligence from the government. But it does appear the State has not been able to neglect the reinvigorated agitation.
The victory path for Nigeria is playing the card of negligence on Nnamdi Kanu which was used previously while Kanu keeps playing the card of relevance; eventually, he will draw Muhammadu Buhari’s attention and the song will start all over. As a man that is peaceful and has no gun, he needs everything to keep the spotlight to himself. His re-arrest is another ploy Nigeria must avoid. A footage that has gone viral on the social media showed the young man challenging anybody that would come and arrest him. To me; he is a good player; he wants the arrest to happen once more. Has he a gun? The answer is no. How then can an individual stop his re-arrest by the Statet? Will he go on exile? I do not think so. How come he is challenging his re-arrest with bewildering gusto? Those that are sapient should know that he is tainting the handlers of Nigeria into committing another administrative slip that will birth Biafra.
The big difference is Nigeria’s ability to persevere and wait till the fizzling point while Nnamdi Kanu is tested with determination and insistence. The chess is all about using the head; you oppose where necessary and attack when needed. Any time you attack at the wrong time, whatever is done to your opponent is your weakness because he will eventually counter attack, and in most cases the attack meets your porous defense. By re-arresting Nnamdi Kanu in any situation Nigeria will be attacking wrongly and that can be categorized as panic-attack. The major weakness of Nigeria in NIGERIA VERSUS NNAMDI KANU is pressing the panic button any time the issue arises.
The little I have followed the situation in Nigeria is discouraging. From the point of less support for Nnamdi Kanu to a huge one and from the point of political and cultural leaders’ opposition to their total support there is huge evidence of ill-handling of the situation by Nigeria. The way Nigerian government badly or directly handle Nnamdi Kanu has made sympathy tilt towards him and his cause. Even someone like me has crawled out of my shell to question the tactless approach of Nigerian government.
Just the moment the re-arrest was mentioned, when the same people Nnamdi Kanu represents are threatened with genocide, one begins to wonder if Nigerian political class really want the unity of Nigeria. They seem to be biting more than they can chew and living in the euphoria of internal matter. The Nigerian situation has become one of international priority. Arresting the people threatened with genocide and praising the people that made the threat is most provocative, to say the least.
However, the protest for the IPOB leader’s re-arrest and the call by FGN are the contributions of hopeless men; it is shocking that just before the race the Nigerian class is panting. When that man is unlawfully re-arrested people will come out on the street to demand his freedom. I am thinking the handlers of Nigeria will illegally kill them and abuse their rights and then then think everything is internal matter. What do they stand to gain from heating up the polity or taking risk in re-arresting the IPOB leader ? The unity of the country needs protection, but the more the opposition is targeted, the more the unity of Nigeria is risked.
Politicians are known for their ability to harmonize and neglect a situation that has the potency of bringing government to a halt, but in Nnamdi Kanu’s case, Nigerian politicians have lost it. Arrest is the last resort! But if it has gotten to that, then it is time Nigeria throws in the towel by granting the wish of the young man – referendum. If there are options on the table for Nigeria (which I believe there are), then this is the time to weigh them. Nobody wants the direct option that could threaten peace in the most populated African country. If lobbying has failed, political solution has failed, then it shows that IPOB and its leader are determined. It is time to consider referendum than resort to any further arrest that might trigger an uglier situation.
A Nigerian friend had told me there is agitation for restructure, which has the ability to cut off Biafra, but Nigerian political class is opposed to that. I have continued to ask: what does this crop of political leaders want for Nigeria, if restructure is opposed? African culture includes unleashing terror on their kind and that is the destination of the present situation in Nigeria, but there must be retribution in this era.
The world is now duly informed and the world cannot continue to maintain crossed arms.
Chris .I. Craig is an international social analyst and author based in Canada.