By Jude Oguta
Well as a revolutionary leader fighting against established norms and traditions, acceptance is the first and most difficult hurdle to cross. Many people including myself the writer don’t agree with some of Nnamdi’s ideas, sayings and actions but what I can’t deny is that he is getting the result many people that went before only dream about.
Here are the five biggest forces Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB disciples will have to contend with (and indeed already fighting) to get to their promised land:
1. Political Leaders: This people have the power and resources to bring anyone down and they are so skillful in the game that they have won a following over the years. They fear loosing their influence as a result of a revolution. Therefore maintaining the status quo is their pre-occupation, and will fight tooth and nail to oppose a change-especially that as radical as IPOB. When one hears people like Wike and Dave Umahi distancing themselves from Biafra, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Politicians live in the realm of protecting self-interest and so expect more politicians to come out to denounce Biafra in the days ahead-they are already benefiting from the present arrangement. This is why in some revolutions, the first to be killed are the ruling class because the masses suddenly realizes(sometimes wrongly) that the ruling class has been the cause of decay in the system. Read about the French Revolution
2. The Western Media: According to Malcom X, “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” In Nigeria the West of Yoruba extraction control the media, and unfortunately so for the Biafran agitators. This is because they practice selective reporting- reporting only those stuffs that represents the view of its owner. We are not talking about just the traditional media but also the New Media. If you go to the political section of Nairaland forum, the first statement you will see there is that Nairaland is against secessionist. So its not surprising when they only bring to front page news and topics that support their view and can delete a topic in opposition. Same with Sahara Reporters another Yoruba owned media platform. If you ever watched the Youtube aired Keeping it Real with Adeola discuss Biafra, you will see bias in reporting. How would you explain a case where she used the interview granted a disgruntled girlfriend of Nnamdi Kanu to present the personality of the IPOB leader. You don’t expect your enemy to say anything good about you.
3. The Elites: Like the political leaders, one thing the elite fear most is the sudden awakening of consciousness of an ordinary man. This is because the ordinary man has nothing to loose in a struggle so they fight dirty. One thing you will always see in the news these days is how one group or the other is against IPOB and are not willing to be part of it. Some of those statements are sponsored by politicians and given relevance by the Western Media. Akwa Ibom apex group Nkparawa, Anambra Peoples Assembly (APA) etc opposes Biafra. More hitherto unrecognized group will rise up in days ahead and they will enjoy media attention.
4. The Northern Power Brokers: If there is a people Igbos want to separate from fast, it is those of Hausa origin. They have never agreed on anything since the amalgamation ideology was birthed. Apart from the fact that they massacre the Igbos in every slightest provocation, the South Easterners also see them as parasites pulling their aspirations and innovative abilities down with their barbaric beliefs. The North is also interested in the oil produced in the Niger Delta which they will obviously loose if Eastern Nigeria secedes. The South South has always wanted to be on their own but lack the power to fight the Northern political class.
Nnamdi appears to be a very intelligent guy. Even some stupid things he does seem to be strategically planned as they end up yielding the desired result. From his statements in radio Biafra, to calling Nigeria a zoo and asking for guns to fight them-all geared towards getting the attention and anger of the government. Then he came to Nigeria and was arrested as expected. Many critics believe Buhari played into his game because that single arrest gave him popularity and increased support for him.
Even his statements and actions these days is helping him remain relevant in the media. He knows the main stream media will never report his good moves so he keeps appearing controversial. How far will this take him-well let's watch and see