When the dust settles over the numerous calls for separation and restructuring in Nigeria, the world will know that it all started with the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Fortuitously, President Muhammadu Bu­hari’s public approval rating was 80% in October 2015, the same month he illegally kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu. Ever since, Buhari’s personal political standing as well as Nigeria’s economic well-being have nose-dived to 30% ap­proval rating as at July 2016. As Prophet Nwoko had pre­dicted, “Heaven will strike if Nnamdi Kanu is not released.”
We recall that on the 14th of October 2016, agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) trailed Nnamdi Kanu to his hotel in Lagos as he was on transit to Biafraland and arrested him. After several physical abuse and torture, he was flown to Abuja for further torture and physical abuse. Desperate to jail Nnamdi Kanu, the DSS raised several trumped-up charges which were summarily dismissed by the courts. Both Magistrate and High courts issued or­ders for the release of Nnamdi Kanu but Buhari’s DSS refused to obey the court orders.
On the 30th of December 2015, Buhari boasted to the global viewing audience that Nnamdi Kanu will never be released. In the meantime, as Biafrans in Biafraland gath­ered to pray for the success of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in the legal battle against the DSS, Buhari ordered his military and other security agencies to open fire at them, which resulted in the death of scores of Biafrans. Recent­ly, on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari in conjunction with the governor of Anambra state—Willie Obiano, alleg­edly deployed the Nigerian Army from Onitsha military barracks who shot and killed over 200 unarmed peaceful Biafrans that gathered to com­memorate the day Biafra was formally declared (49 years ago) as well as remember the fallen heroes of the war of genocide on Biafra by Nigeria and Britain.
Between the illegal deten­tion of Nnamdi Kanu and the massacre of Biafrans on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari has steadily and continually en­gaged in ethnic cleansing of the Biafran people. His kill­ing spree on Biafrans and the despoliation of the Biafran environment plus the refusal to obey court orders on the release of Nnamdi Kanu were harbingers to the emergence of diverse freedom-fighting groups which Buhari and his acolytes nicknamed militants. One of these freedom-fight­ing groups is the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). The NDA has dealt a devastating blow in the oil and gas industry and for which hydrocarbon pro­duction has plummeted.
The political environment in Nigeria has remained un­stable. Nigeria has developed irreparable fault lines engen­dered by Buhari’s inept parti­san governance style and his non-observance of the ethos of democracy and the rule of law. Both Executive and Leg­islative arms of government are confused, unproductive, and antithetical to democratic objectives. Instead of Buhari to carry out reflexive praxis on the many issues bedevil­ling the country, he claims to be the president of, he is busy beating war drums and enjoy­ing his pastime which is the slaughter of innocent Biafrans. Unknown to Buhari, the root cause of the aforementioned political woes facing his coun­try is the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and the fla­grant disobedience of court orders related to the uncon­ditional release of Mr. Kanu. As a matter of fact, the call for restructuring wouldn’t have happened if not for Nnamdi Kanu’s well-articulated and relentless pursuit of Biafra and Buhari’s nature of interfering with the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the social spectrum is also badly hit by Buhari’s lack of basic under­standing of how democracy works and the need to subject himself to the law of the land which he swore to uphold and obey under Schedule-7 of Ni­geria’s Constitution. Several thousands of lives have been avoidable lost to terrorist at­tacks coming from Islamic fundamentalists of Northern extraction. From Borno to Benue and from Potiskum to Port-Harcourt, several lives have been cut short courtesy of a dysfunctional security and law enforcement system. Peo­ple are now walking and look­ing over their shoulders and around them while thanking their creator for sparing every minute of their lives. This was not the situation prior to the illegal incarceration of Nnam­di Kanu.
The jet speed with which the economy of Nigeria de­scended into the abyss since the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu has been un­precedented. Readers should take time to review the econo­my of Nigeria before and after the illegal arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Today, the only in­come-generating resource (Crude oil) for Nigeria is at all-time low. Even the Manag­ers of Nigeria’s finances have openly confessed that Nigeria will not be able to execute 50% of planned projects because of the activities of militants who are all in unison in their de­mand for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu. As a matter of fact, the investors in oil and gas in Nigeria should blame Buhari for the activi­ties of NDA and other mili­tants because if Buhari had released Nnamdi Kanu there would not have been the de­struction of oil and gas pipe­line and facilities nor would there be any momentum or impetus for other separatist groups to emerge. If the pre­sent trend continues, Nnamdi Kanu’s detention would have succeed in destroying Nige­rian economy as militants will not stop blowing up pipelines until one of their key demands are met which is his release. In particular, the militants’ de­mand for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu is 7th item on their list of demands and the question bothering everybody’s mind is why Bu­hari and his government have chosen to downplay demand #7 when that is the only open­ing available to them to make meaningful human contact with the militants.
Religious bigotry has reached a crescendo in Nige­ria under the presidency of Buhari especially since the il­legal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu. There have been be­headings of Christians by Is­lamic fundamentalists, lynch­ing of non-Muslims by Boko Haram members, and out­right mass-murder of Shiite Muslims by Sunni-practicing members of Buhari’s armed forces. Boko Haram members have been deployed to Biafra­land to rampage and massacre Christians especially mem­bers of Indigenous People of Biafra under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu with the sole aim of stifling the quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
The Judiciary has been com­pletely compromised from the time Nnamdi Kanu was il­legally arrested. Most Judges now pander to the whims and caprices of the executive for fear of being dismissed from service or killed in a mysteri­ous manner.
Nigeria is already on a cliff-hanger and just a tiny strand is what remained for it to de­scend into irredeemable ca­tastrophe. Like Somalia under Siad Barre, Nigeria under Bu­hari is sliding into the abyss because of the stubbornness or some would say suicidal tendencies of one man.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America must take notice that there will surely be another war in Nige­ria with far more deadly con­sequences worse than that of Somalia and Sudan combined. The only way this prediction can be avoided is to ensure that Buhari obeys court orders by releasing Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally. Anything short of unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu in accord­ance with the court orders will make Nigeria’s current political instability snowball into anarchy. The ball is in the court of the international community to make the right decision of requesting Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu un­conditionally and the time to make that decision is now.
•Chukwuemeka Iroanya can be reached via email: clif­[email protected]
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