Sometimes in 2017 ,Chinedu Asuzu and myself journeyed to Abuja to meet with Nnamdi KANU at the instance of Late Dr Dozie Ikedife. Before then ,we have differed on the methodology to secure economic ,political and cultural freedom for our dear people living in Nigeria with Nnamdi KANU.
After the meeting in Kuje with Nnamdi KANU ,Kalada,an Ijawman and others ,we agreed that political methodology was the best option towards the pursuit for the liberation of our people from Nigeria and we adopted UPP as our political platform. Sadly ,on our way back to the east ,we got a SMS from Nnamdi KANU that IPOB would continue with Civil Disobedience as a methodology to achieve Biafra freedom. We were disappointed with his sudden change of mind . We were convinced that considering the peculiar situation in Nigeria ,civil disobedience would only make us outsiders in power game since independence struggle in 21st century is a political process.
However, our political group- MOBIN was sabotaged by fellow comrades and the rest is history .
This short note is to remind us of the event of the recent past in case if we have forgotten. This will assist us to make informed decisions.
While in Kuje , Nnamdi KANU confessed to us that he has tried to sustain the struggle ,thus far and that we should explore other avenues to ensure that the future of our people were secured. We promised to sustain the momentum using our approach which was in line with the rule of law of the land . Thereafter ,many fanatical followers of Nnamdi KANU IPOB who had never met Nnamdi KANU in person told us during a unity meeting summoned by Late Dr Ikedife at Nnewi that KANU must come out from Kuje before they could do anything. Few months later ,KANU was released and he came to see Late Dr Ikedife at his Nnewi hospital . I was there . Again ,we reminded him that IPOB no election mantra in 2017 has nothing to do with Biafra struggle. Outside the meeting room while addressing the media ,KANU insisted that IPOB would not allow Anambra election to hold . I was at the spot of the press briefing and alas our group was utterly disappointed leading to our cancelling further engagement with Nnamdi KANU and his IPOB . Note that we were operating Customary Government of IPOB under the Chairmanship of Late HRM Eze Ozobu ,former Chief Judge and first Ohanaeze President and Late Dr Dozie Ikedife as Deputy Chairman , Late Col Joe Achuzia as the Secretary. These were men Nigeria government held in highest esteem . The event of 2017 is repeating itself in 2022 because we failed to address the root cause of the agitations.
One month after our meeting with Nnamdi KANU at Nnewi ,he continued talking tough until Operation python dance struck and rest is history.
The lesson to be learnt from the past event : The political elites were watching from the sideline. They refused to join the debate then. They preferred to meet the agitators in the night with loads of money . South east Governors were not interested in Good Governance and public accountability. They were not interested in providing visionary Leadership. They were not interested in connecting with the ordinary people. They surrounded themselves with praise singers! They , most unfortunately, disconnected themselves from the ordinary people and created an opportunity for Non State Actors to fill the widening gaps in the society. These political leaders missed the opportunity provided by the likes of Late Dozie Ikedife to kick- start open debate on the best way to approach the Nigeria dilemma . That mindless negligent is the price we are paying today.
Now that we have a Governor who wants to do the right thing, I am afraid that his actions may be misunderstood. The proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be headed by somebody in the class of Late Dozie Ikedife ,Late Justice Oputa ,Prof Uzodinma Nwala etc to bring the right people together to proffer permanent solution . The present situation cannot be resolved by the use of force. No force can stop an ideological battle whether anybody tags it criminal or terrorist activities. The root cause of agitations must be considered and addressed . Career freedom fighters must be exposed and genuine agitators should be encouraged ,that way ,the public will know the right course of action. Finally ,effective communication is key in the whole process as the issue is very sensitive.
Ndubuisi Anaenugwu is the Deputy Leader of Good Governance Ministry.