Kanu Warns Buhari Not To Instigate Another War

Insists IPOB boycott of Anambra stands
Declares self ready for re-arrest

The leader of the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against provoking another civil war in Nigeria by implementing his threat to crackdown on freedom fighters as terrorists. The IPOB leader urged the president to thread careful with the issue of Biafra agitation to avoid dragging the country into crisis.

Kanu issued the advice in Umuahia while reacting to President Buhari’s recent broadcast and alleged directive to security chiefs to treat agita- tions for self-determination the same way as Boko Haram and herdsmen.

The IPOB leader argued that it was illogical for Buhari to group Biafra agitators with global terror organisations like Boko Haram and Fulani herds- men.

He advised Buhari to con- centrate efforts on governance and how to take Nigeria out of economic recession instead of issuing threats to intimidate genuine agitators. According to the IPOB leader, Buhari should learn from former US President, Dwight Eisenhower who was a former military commander but turned a democrat when he was voted into power.

His words: “The directive to service chiefs to clamp down on IPOB is a continuation of the Buhari’s dictatorial and un- democratic approach to gover- nance. I find it unacceptable, abhorrent, and insulting that somebody elected by the peo- ple can turn around to dictate to them.

“Buhari was elected to gov- ern Nigeria, he should get on with the business of gover- nance and not try to instigate another war.”

Kanu also insisted on the boycott of November 18 Anambra governorship election, stressing that “only the beneficiaries of the crumbs from Aso Rock will support those calling on me to rescind the boycott order.

“The call for boycott of the election is our legitimate right. IPOB has only one weapon with which to fight Nigeria, and that is civil disobedience not armed conflict. If we decide not to vote in Anambra, it is our prerogative. It is not targeted at Governor Willie Obiano or anybody.”

He stressed that IPOB would not be forced to take up arms no matter the provocation. “We have refused to be provoked to arms rebellion. That is what Buhari is looking for. Buhari wants a war but we won’t oblige him because we are civilised people. We are democrats at heart by nature and by essence,” he said, adding that no amount of threat or intimidation would make him give up the struggle for Biafra autonomy because it is a genuine cause.

The IPOB boss challenged Buhari to defeat advocates of self-determination with supe- rior arguments on why Nigeria should continue as one indivis- ible country instead of thinking he could cow them into sub- mission by force. “This notion and idea that we can intimi- date them or bang them into submission does not work with Nnamdi Kanu. I only respond to reason and logic. I am not scared by threats.

“Defeat me with superior arguments not with the force of arms because it won’t work with me. Nigeria never defeat- ed Biafra. Britain and other devilish powers did. Nigeria can never defeat Biafra.”

Kanu accused Buhari of hypocrisy by supporting the independence bid of Palestine and Western Sahara on the one hand while clamping down on Biafra agitators on the other. “How come Buhari is supporting Palestinian self determination, Western Sahara self determination but wants Biafrans to be killed? That is sheer monumental hypocrisy. I want everybody liberated - Yoruba, Igbo, Jukun, Ijaw, Ibibio, etc. Convince me why Nigeria is

a better option using sensible reasonable argument and not threats”.

Non-violent campaign

Kanu further maintained that IPOB is a non- violent organisa- tion which does not justifiably deserve equal treatment with Boko Haram and herdsmen which have taken up arms against the people. “We are not armed and we can never be armed. IPOB has done a lot to free other ethnic nationalities from the Caliphate’s bondage of retrogression and economic emasculation. Other ethnic na- tionalities should be grateful to IPOB for giving them the cour- age and the heart to speak up and say they are not slaves.

“We are not afraid because IPOB is a peaceful mass move- ment and not a violent arms group. IPOB is a non-violent peaceful mass movement. There is no recorded event of an injury sustained in any of the numerous IPOB gather- ings. People converge in their millions to listen to this gospel of the restoration of Biafra.

“We are the most disciplined, most well behaved mass movement anywhere on the face of the earth despite the genocidal killings, arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions with- out trial.”

Kanu provided explanations on the formation of the Biafra Security Services (BSS), saying the secret police was set up to gather intelligence and not to bear arms contrary to some media reports.

According to him, BSS was basically inaugurated to gather intelligence about the October 1 quit notice to Igbo living in the North and to also defend communities in Biafra land against herdsmen invasion.

He denied setting up any army contrary to speculations, dismissing it as a fabrication of media outfits to attract reader- ship and wider patronage.

He said that it was a ploy by the enemies to justify their plot to use crude force against peaceful agitators. “No army was set up. Forget the distor- tions you see in the media. They only do so to attract traf- fic. What we have is only BSS set up to give us intelligence regarding the October 1 quit notice to Ndigbo living in the North.

“We are students of history. The same thing happened in 1966. No adequate arrange- ments were made to cater for the safe return of our people from the North and as a result, hundreds of thousands of peo- ple were massacred.

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“All that IPOB is trying to do is to avoid the reoccurrence of the 1966 genocidal massacre of innocent Igbo men, women and children in the North. It is to prevent the menace of Fulani herdsmen which Buhari cleverly avoided to mention during his broadcast because they are his kinsmen. This means that he supports the killings of innocent people by herdsmen as a way of expanding their Islamic domination agenda

“Many of our people across South-South and South-East support what IPOB is doing. They also support the forma- tion of BSS that will take care of this land in terms of its security needs. Attacks by the rampag- ing Hausa/ Fulani herdsmen will be a thing of the past. We

can no longer allow it to go on. “People talk about BSS as if it is something new. They have the Shariah police in the North, they also have the Hisbah po- lice in the North answerable to Islamic courts. In the West, they have OPC but here in the South-East we have nothing. Why is it that when I want to safeguard the interest of Biafra,

they begin to kick against it?” On how BSS would confront the rampaging herdsmen since the former is not armed, Kanu said “ we don’t need arms to disarm people who are carrying guns; we know the terrains of our villages better than them. “We shall disarm them and stop them from rampaging and invading our communities. I don’t want some ethnic bigots occupying the corridors of power to provoke us into arms confrontation by sending troops masquerading as herdsmen to come and attack Biafra

“We shall resist that. In whatever guise, they come we shall resist them so that they will not subject us into submission or Islamise us. It shall not happen under my watch.”

IPOB not fighting Nigeria

Kanu said the agitation for Biafra independence was not a fight against Nigeria or any individual but a fight against injustice and lopsidedness in the Nigerian political structure. “We are not fighting Nigeria as a state. We are not fighting any governor. We are not fighting any individual because we are a global organisation.

“We are fighting a lopsided, fundamentally corrupt system that has held people down in abject poverty for decades, leading to premature deaths, high scale unemployment, and complete decimation of the economic landscape. We are fighting a system which has made the rest of us slaves to people who are not qualified to hold public office.

“Do you think that if things were working very well that anybody would want to leave Nigeria? I am a pan Africanist. I want to establish good gov- ernance that will extend to the ends of Africa. The way Nigeria was formed and handed over to a band of scavengers can no longer be tolerated.

“The agitation is not against anybody. We are pursuing an ideal nation where hospitals and schools can function. IPOB is building roads but the media will not report that. We don’t molest people because we are under oath to defend those that cannot defend themselves. We cannot bring one to our people but we must agitate.

“I want the world to under- stand why we are canvassing ceaselessly for our freedom. It is because of the divergent value system in Nigeria. To Buhari as a Fulani man, the only way he can solve a problem is via brute force. But we are not cows that can be beaten into submission. We are not cattle. You must appeal to our sense of reasoning.”

Ojukwu’s stand on Biafra

Kanu disagreed with Bu- hari’s claims that he agreed with the late Biafra warlord, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu that Nigeria would remain one indivisible country.

“Biafra agitation preceded Ojukwu. We are agitating for

Biafra that existed before the white man came. We fought to keep Arochukwu standing. We formed Ekumeku in Anioma and Ahaba which the white man could not defeat.

“Our late leader Ojukwu and Buhari could not considerably sit in a room to decide the fate of 180 million people. They said Ojukwu said there will be no Biafra which is a lie any way, can two people decide for millions of others?

“No matter how small a clan is, everybody deserves to be heard. I want Buhari to defeat me with the superiority of his argument and not threats.”

On allegations by critics that IPOB members lack intellectual depth, Kanu asked “what have those with enormous amount of intelligentsia achieved in the last 50 years after the civil war?

“What have the so-called elite elicited for us? A palm wine tapper can be an intellectual. It is not by accumulation of degrees. Look at the emirs and Northern leaders defending herdsmen and Northern youths but no Igbo leader is defending us.

“Are they more intelligent than I am? I am a political economist and I started in England. I run nine consultancy firms but I don’t want to advertise that. I listen to carpenters and they make more sense than those in Abuja.”

He said that he was not afraid of being re-arrested but cautioned that it might be counter productive. “I don’t care, I don’t give a damn, re-arrest or no re arrest, I shall defeat them both in the law court and before the court of public opinion. They have no case against me. The Nigeria government does not want to open their case against me because they have no case against me. If they want me detained that is their business. That will even facilitate 100 per cent compliance in the Anambra election boycott.

“Why didn’t anybody campaign for the arrest of the youths that issued quit notice to Ndigbo in the North. Is it because we don’t control the media or the commanding height of the economy? Or is it because were don’t have any security chief? “

Kanu decried the ordeals of Nigerians due to the prevailing economic hardship, saying that people are now committing suicide out of frustration.

“We have up to 10 dead bodies in our village now. People are secretly committing suicide because they are frustrated and are tired of living. They want freedom. Knowing whom we are, we don’t dominate people. We are the only people whose value system is under- pinned by the principles of live and let live.”

On the reports that the fiery Anambra priest, Rev. Father Ebube Muonso warned Kanu against calling for Nigerian disintegration, he said the cleric was quoted out of context by the enemies of Biafra. “People are trying to divide us by fabricating all sorts of lies. There is a deliberate plot to distort facts to cause confusion within us. They said I am against Obiano, how can I be against him? He has even apologised for what happened. How can I be against any Niger Delta governor?” he queried.

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