Nnamdi Kanu: a changed man?

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

In Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic story, Victor Frankenstein built a creature (monster) in his laboratory, standing 8 feet tall. The monster who later became known as Frankenstein, tried to fit into human society, but was rejected by everyone including his creator Victor, who could not really stand the sight of him. Frankenstein himself is repulsed by the sight of his reflection and his greatest desire to find love and acceptance was denied. He becomes furious and bitter, and swears revenge on his creator. He becomes suicidal and violent and attempts to blow up Victor’s laboratory, the one he was built in. Such is the reality of building a monster. When you build one there is no telling what he or she can or cannot do, as it develops a mind of its own, its own character, and dispositions.

This similar to Mohammed Yusuf’s Boko Haram, which started off with the anti-western education ideology. The group dabbled into local politics for a short period of time, as it grew in stature and influence. Within no time, disciples of Mohammed Yusuf began to see him as a weakling, and felt that he could not lead them to the frontiers of warfare which they so craved for. They openly opposed him on so many decisions and by the time he was killed, Boko Haram had fully blown into a terrorist organisation. It gained notoriety as one of the most lethal and brutal terrorist organisations in the world. It was led by Shekau who also suffered the same fate as Mohammed Yusuf, as his disciples also disagreed with him over issues. Boko Haram became factionalised and other leaders such as Abu Darda and Abuqaqa emerged. Infact it is reported that Shekau blew himself up along with some other dissenting voices from other Boko Haram camps.

The IPOB movement’s terror is not so dissimilar from the Boko Haram manifestations. Whatever their ideologies may be, they have ended up as organisations visiting terror, mayhem and even cannibalism upon their people. They have killed thousands of their own in the execution of their ideologies. This is a clear derailment, (or is it?) from their declared missions and what they stand to accomplish. If Boko Haram had been left unfettered, there would be no one left in the lands to ‘Boko Haram’ with them. The IPOB’s orgy of killings would also leave no one behind to realise Biafra with them. It would probably become one huge camp of IPOB fighters with no one to lord over. The two organisations eventually morphed into killing machines with no justifiable cause. That was why the two were declared terrorist organisations. Those that created Boko Haram and IPOB ended up creating monsters that grew out of their control.

A court room video of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the IPOB movement (is he?) surfaced on the 19th of March, 2024. His message from the video is that once he is released, he will bring an end to the killings of IPOB within 2 mins! He said that anyone found committing crime in the South East will not go unpunished. It is obviously a well prepared outing for him to plead for leniency, so that the government will drop all the terrorism charges against him. It is to also position himself as one who can bring an end to the reign of terror by IPOB in the South East.

However, what Nnamdi Kanu does not understand is that IPOB and its merchants have gone beyond his declarations and speeches from his hotel room. They have become more brazen and brutal than he ever thought they could be. So many elements are on their own and have picked arms in the name of IPOB, as a means to an end. Simon Ekpa has become one of their supremo leaders now and they listen to him, as he encourages them to carnage. Kanu’s detention has robbed him of his leadership ties to IPOB and has now become an image of himself. Just like what happened to Mohammed Yusuf and the legendary Shekau, Kanu’s disciples have taken over as splinter groups of IPOB in the South East. He had once issued a directive while in detention and he was countered by Simon Ekpa in far away Finland. Terrorism is big business and his absence has edged him out. The small enterprise he built has boomed into an industry. His voice will be inconsequential whether in detention, or out on the streets as a free man. Infact, his life may be in danger, when he is out there preaching peace to people who have long learned the dividends of terrorism.

In his hay-days, Nnamdi Kanu was a force to be reckoned with, a voice to be heard in the IPOB hierarchy, and a voice to be feared. Over time, and with a change of government, the dynamics of his situation have changed significantly. In yesterday’s government, he was a threat, in today’s government, he is a prisoner of circumstances. He has no agitations against the present administration and that puts them in a quizzy situation. What do they do with him? Afterall he has terrorism charges against him. But the crux of the matter is, will Nnamdi Kanu truly repent and become a changed man? Will he desist from his old ways of inciting public violence and self destruction? Or will he be released to start another war of control over IPOB with Simon Ekpa?

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *