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Saturday 26 December 2015

Biafra: We Must Speak Up To Stop The Dictatorship Of Buhari

Nnamdi Kanu is us. To be silent is to acquiesce to our imprisonment in a “democracy.” Next time they will come for us. We must stop Buhari.
Sadly, Buhari won’t be stopped anytime soon. His insolence is funded by the sweet words of many Nigerian writers and pretend public intellectuals, the chop and clean mouth brigade of the new dispensation, our Goebbels, the myrmidons of our looming darkness, those who assure us daily that this farce is not Animal Farm.
We have no voices; they have been stilled by filthy lucre. There are many quietly documenting the outrage that is today’s Nigeria in their journals. In two years, they will publish a book – for profit. May termites and boll weevils read your books for free. It is time to speak up now or forever break your pen in half! I have said my own.
And I leave you the measured but haunting words of Professor Moses Ochonu on his Facebook wall: (December 24, 2015):
“Regardless of where you stand on the new Biafra movement led by Nnamdi Kanu, and regardless of what you think of the detained IPOB leader, how can you defend or justify the Buhari administration’s unconstitutional detention of Kanu, a man who had been granted bail more than a month ago and was then discharged on all the charges filed against him by the FG by a higher court? Is this the new norm, disregard for court rulings and verdicts? And how can you justify the killing by Nigerian security services of protesters calling for Kanu’s release?
You may say that six new charges have been filed against Kanu, but why was he held for at least a week after the dismissal of the charges against him before the new charges were brought? And why was his earlier bail not respected by the SSS? Now, to the government’s embarrassment, they are shopping for judges who will agree to nail Kanu because most reasonable ones will not agree to be used by a seemingly insecure government that will not obey court rulings.
I’m afraid Buhari is playing a potentially dangerous game with his handling of Kanu. Already, by taking the lunatic fringe campaigner seriously, announcing the interception of Biafra radio signals, and then arresting him as he wanted and goaded them into doing, Buhari and his security services have made Kanu and Biafra an international issue.
Buhari has handed IPOB a moral victory and Kanu a massive grassroots following that confers on him credibility and stature he never had. Why not simply quietly release this political nonentity and watch him fade away into irrelevance like MASSOB’s Ralph Uwazuruike before him? Why help mainstream a marginal political movement by taking a paranoid, impulsive approach to an organization that specializes in comical guerrilla radio bluster?
I don’t get the endgame of this administration with regard to Kanu/IPOB. So far, there is no logic to what they are doing; it’s all very impulsive and improvisational, driven by irrational fear and paranoia more than anything else.”

“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.” – Wole Soyinka
President Buhari, respect our courts, free Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Ikhide Ikheloa is a writer and literary critic. He is one of The Trent’s Elite Bloggers. He tweets from @ikhide.

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