Here is a thought, perhaps, if President Mohammadu Buhari was still on admission in a London hospital, Nnamdi Kanu would still be traversing the length and breadth of Igbo land annoying the hell out of the rest of Nigeria. If there was one did Kanu did very well, it was to make loud noises like all empty drums.
Only people that took him serious attached too much importance to things he said. His pronouncements were as outrageous as they were outrightly stupid. Yet many people believed and saw him as somebody to take seriously.
Obviously, the Nigerian Government took him seriously. That was why he was arrested when he decided to leave his London base, come to Nigeria and lead his people to freedom.
That arrest instantly turned a comical figure who got his support from mostly the unemployed and criminal elements of the society into a cult hero. He immediately became someone to watch.
You don’t go round arresting people for voicing their opinion. What happened to the right to free speech embedded in the constitution?
His incarceration had the opposite effect to what the government intended. The plan was to arrest and perhaps end his activities once and for all. It didn’t work out that way.
Because of the illegality of the arrest, it was logical for people to call for his release or at least charge him to court. By the time Nnamdi Kanu appeared in court, his profile was already larger than life.
Getting bailed was a foregone conclusion. The bail granted to him even went a long way to stoke the fires of his supposed invincibility. The narrative now was, even the whole Nigerian State cannot keep him down.
And so, the circus started
He violated the terms of his bail with impunity. Each day, he got more brazen. While in the beginning, he restricted himself to visitors coming to his home, by the end, he was holding rallies and organizing protests against the state.
One couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Igbos. How did a proud people descent so low to rally behind someone like that. Nnamdi Kanu isn’t even fit enough to tie the laces of some of the Igbos hailing him around the country.
Many prominent Igbos threw their famed republicanism out the window and practically kissed the ground Kanu walked on, the way subjugated people worship absolute monarchs.
Kanu reveled in it all. He talked like a king. Dressed like one in some ridiculous outfit. And treated his people and the rest of Nigeria with contempt.
The charade didn’t stop there. Prominent Igbos leaders tried to outdo themselves to align with him. Every day it was one news or the other of one delegation or the other coming to pay their respects. Even Governors were not left out.
He promised Igbos everything they ever dreamed of. They would have their own country. They would be recognized as Jews, free to travel to Israel without visas. Hell, they could even move there and settle down as citizens. Donald Trump had big plans for Igbos he told them.
Nothing was too silly or too ridiculous to say. And they soaked it all up.
The problem with people like Nnamdi Kanu
Cult heroes who challenged a state, sooner or later get crushed. Nnamdi Kanu is just the latest to challenge the political order only to be swatted aside by the brute force of the nation-state. He had it coming but didn’t know it would end the way it did.
When you challenge the political elites, they would join ranks and crush you to bits.
Kanu threw down a frightening gauntlet when he urged Igbos to boycott the forthcoming elections in Anambra State. He footsoldiers even stopped people from participating in the voter’s registration exercise.
The Igbos political elites saw this as the final straw. He was now challenging their bread and butter. At this point, they knew if he succeeded in Anambra, it would be the end of them as politicians and the easy money they get.
They put their considerable differences to one side to face this real and immediate danger. After the call to him to tone down his rhetorics failed, it was time to enlist the support of Abuja.
Fortunately for them, the man who calls all the shots in Abuja, President Buhari, was back from London after a successful treatment of a serious condition that almost ended his life.
The rest is history.
Where is Kanu?
In the aftermath of the army’s campaign (also known as Operation Python Dance) reported by Nigeria News to bring an end Kanu’s activities, nobody had seen or heard about the leader of IPOB.
Did he escape arrest? Has he sneaked out of the country? Is he somewhere organizing a more effective armed rebellion? Is he collaborating with militants in the Niger Delta to stage a glorious comeback? Is he back in London licking his wounds and nursing his injured ego back to health?
So many questions without any clarity. But the most likely scenario is that Nnamdi Kanu was arrested by the military and whisked to an unknown destination. It is possible that he is in solitary confinement in some secret military location.
Or if you want to go far enough, he could have been killed by the military and his body is now decomposing in some unmarked grave somewhere.
The people that stood as sureties for him in his bail are in a very big jam. They can’t produce him and they are at risked of losing N100 million naira or their freedom.
We all know that behind the scenes, Senator Abaribe is working hard to find a political solution to his problem. He was one of the people that stood bail for Kanu.
The court had adjoined proceedings several times due to the absence of Kanu. Several times, the court had asked Abaribe and the others to produce Kanu or face the wrath of the law.
Here is one fact to chew on: Senator Abaribe knows he cannot produce Kanu except the military decides to do so. And somehow, the government and Abaribe would reach an agreement and allow this case to fizzle out quietly.
After all, the continued absence of Nnamdi Kanu is the solution to a huge problem that threatened to consume the Igbo political elites. It is a win-win situation for everybody in Nigeria.