Nnamdi Kanu is not the problem here and it amuses me that we keep railing on and on at him and his group. Kanu is a manifestation of a problem. He is filling in a lacuna, one created by years of our collective denial and dishonesty. He is what those in the medical field will call a “symptom”. A symptom is just an indicator to a problem, malfunction or dysfunction. The truth is, take Kanu away and someone else, maybe much more radical, will replace him. Why? Because we have failed to address the reason he is even in our faces in the first place. A smart and thinking president/government will understand the above before acting like a starved hyena.
Why is there an agitation for secession? Why do we have an increasing score of people cry out daily for a division? What is the root of the Biafran agitation? Is there marginalization? If yes, in what ways? How can it be solved? What are our options? Address these issues and the symptom takes care of itself. Beautifully, symptoms help in the diagnosis of a problem. Kanu is a necessary symptom. I keep saying this. You can’t cover a beautiful carpet on a termite infested floor. Why are the termites in your room in the first place? Why is water leaking through your roof? What are the root issues of what is manifesting?
On a very personal basis, I’m indifferent to a call for secession or a call for unity. Historically and all round, my indifference is justified. In whatever angle you look, I’m a minority and that places me at the mercy of others. Go figure! And while I can laugh in oil, that even places me at a worse position.
And truth be told, this is the most divisive government (at the federal level) I will ever experience in Nigeria. Add insensitive to it too. And this is me being very kind with words. To anyone who denies this one fact, I have no words.
If I was the IPOB leader, I will understand that nations are sovereign for a reason and I will also understand the territorial-jealousy that comes with that. What will I do if I want to secede? I will explore my options, first through the instrumentation of the law, and where I absolutely have none, I will damn the consequences, equip my men and get ready to face the music that comes with insurrection and disruption of an already protected territory. Security, both internal and external is the first reason we even have governments. Cue in man’s social contract. Anything can be done using the cover of security, legal or not. And yes, the law will back this.
Without sounding too simplistic or too academic, the agitations of IPOB can be realised without sacrificing lives or playing into the hands of a mad government. A well structured, articulate and thought-out agenda will fix this. I know this.
I want to reference the Constitution, and I also want to reference the Armed Forces Act for and against the Operation Python Dance, but the thing is, I am tired.
The constitution expressly provides rights and liberties to citizens and especially that of expression, but that right is not absolute or without exceptions. We should never forget this. The other truth is, there are many loopholes in law and one can take advantage of it.
While we shout and kick against Kanu, let us not ignore the reason he has sprouted, strongly and boldly. Time is running out. The solution or fix to these issues is not just political, like many of us are positing. We need a holistic approach to it. Nothing less.
Written by Enwongo Cleopas