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Nnamdi Kanu: The Dangerous Growing Influence Of The Mazi

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The Indigenous People Of Biafra is a separatist group/movement from the South-Eastern region of Nigeria which has been very loud in its call for a referendum of secession to leave the Nigerian configuration and set up its own country, the Republic of Biafra.
The founder of the IPOB movement Nnamdi Kanu, created it in 2014, seeking the independence of the South-East region on the country, which mainly comprises the people of the Igbo ethnic group. His plan is, however, not particularly new. In 1967, Igbo leaders had broken out of Nigeria to declare a Biafran State, but after a brutal civil war, which led to the deaths of up to a million people, the secessionist rebellion was defeated and there was a reunion.
ALSO READ Marginalisation; The Igbos Are Their Own Enemies, Not Buhari Or Other Tribes
The idea of separatism had bubbled away since then and now, Mr Kanu is the latest in a line of Biafran activists taking up the cause.

Nnamdi Kanu was a relatively obscure figure until 2009 when he started Radio Biafra, a station that called for an independent state for the Igbo people and broadcast to Nigeria from London.

Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu During his trial in 2016

Though he grew up in Nigeria’s South-East and went to the University of Nsukka, Kanu moved to the UK before graduating. Soon after setting up IPOB, he spoke to gatherings of the large Igbos in diaspora, calling for Biafran independence. In some of his comments, he urged Biafrans to take up arms against the Nigerian state. “We need guns and we need bullets,” he said in one of such addresses, and that was what brought him to the attention of Nigeria’s security services.

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However, the truth is, decades after the Biafra uprising was quelled by the military, secessionist groups have attracted the support of many young people, and it is beginning to grow exponentially in the regional consciousness of the modern Igbo society.
READ ALSO: IPOB ESN Are Not Unknown Gunmen Terrorising And Killing People In South-East – Nnamdi Kanu

Just a week ago during the Biafran War Hero Remembrance, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu called for a 3-day sit-at-home in all of the South East region, and saw massive compliance. This call sparked reactions amongst the constituted authorities in that region, saying Mr. Kanu has no authority nor does IPOB, to make such a call to the general public, and such a call shouldn’t be heeded to.

One of the Governors who kicked back on the call was David Umahi of Ebonyi state, threatening that those who observe the order stand to lose their jobs and their shops. He eventually changed his stance, saying the people could go ahead and celebrate their grandfathers and fathers who all fought gallantly during the Civil War.
READ ALSO: Drama As IPOB’s Sit-At-Home Order Grounds Economic Activities In South East

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The pictures and reality of the events of the May 31st Sit-At-Home showed that there is a growing acceptance of the IPOB movement. If one man – who holds no governmental position of authority – could have made such call and the 5 South-Eastern States all backed up, heeded, and shut down the entire region completely, then it would be smart for the Nigerian government to be more proactive and look for ways to bring the IPOB agitations into the fold to quell the growing consciousness.  

Yes, some will argue that people obeyed the IPOB sit-at-home order in fear of possible attacks and restitution of its members if the order was disobeyed, but the truth is orders and authorities use both fear and love to gain control, acceptance, and recognition.

The truth that stands to be faced is that there is a growing acceptance for the IPOB cause and more people are joining in the movement voluntarily, which makes it even more dangerous for the corporate existence of the country. It has now become more imperative for the Government to take their agitations more seriously than ever, look for constitutionally accepted ways to keep them in the fold and satisfy their agitations, without things resulting in violence and deteriorating further.
The Government surely needs to invest more in this region, get more people of Igbo background in government, rewrite the Nigerian constitution, and restructure the country for better representation of all interests. 

One Nigeria, One People, One Diverse Government. 

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IPOB Magazine Nnamdi Kanu KOKO TV NG 8Photo Credit: Getty

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