It is a common saying that before you blame the hawk for its wickedness (of preying on the chicken), you have to first of all blame the mother hen for exposing her children to danger. Apparently, this adage goes to provide a good analogy that invariably speaks volumes about what obviously is expected of all the cowardly and uncivilised elements who are wont to and, in fact, have been criticising the peaceful protests being staged by the pro-Biafra agitators across the length and breathe of the South-East and South-South geopolitical regions in Nigeria as well as across major city centres of European countries, all demanding in unison for, inter alia, the unconditional release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Director of the famous Radio Biafra that reportedly operates from London. Therefore, left to common sense, which unfortunately is lacking in these armed chair critics of pro-Biafra protests, neither Mr. Kanu nor the growing number of his supporters and fellow members of the Indigenous People of Biafra deserve, in the smallest ounce, any blame over the spreading protests.
Rather, at the very root of it all, the actual blame/criticism squarely and befittingly goes to no other than President Muhammadu Buhari, and his ilk, whose extremely poor understanding of the operation of the rule of law, democracy and/or democratic governance is not only odious but equally anachronistic. As it were, President Muhammadu Buhari appears to be dead inclined to think that a country is deemed to be governed by rule of law when its rulers arrogate to themselves the extra-judicial power to arbitrarily interpret and determine not just the laws of the state but also when and how to obey/apply these laws to effect and at their convenience. This is indeed most unfortunate.
Now come to think of it, what exactly is that offence against Nnamdi Kanu for the sake of which he is still being unlawfully kept incommunicado in the DSS dungeon without trial or prior prosecution, conviction or sentencing? For goodness sake, what exactly is the justification for Kanu’s unlawful arrest in the first instance and his continued incarceration by Mahammadu Buhari’s government whose increasing authoritarianism in a supposedly democratic milieu is not only No Comment becoming a notorious embarrassment to all sane minds but also is transcending into a potentially explosive threat to peace, stability and security of Nigeria and Africa as well as a grave source of international concern? Like members of the public have been duly informed and updated by the team of lawyers holding brief for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu – led by Barrister Vincent Egechukwu Obeta – emphasizing that their client has long been granted bail by a court of competent jurisdiction and that despite having meticulously met all the stringent and almost impossible conditions set out and as contained therein, and which incidentally goes to show the ever lawabiding and non-violent approach so far adopted by the pro-Biafra agitators, Mr. Muhamadu Buhari and the “deep state” within his government have rather decided to remain unlawfully obdurate and, in fact, hell-bent on holding Mr. Nnamdi Kanu down in the DSS “dark room” with the probable intent to ensuring that the people of the Biafran enclave are pushed to wall and thus compelled to unveil their deadly fangs – like the terrorist Northern Nigerian Boko Haram separatists are doing – before eventually taking a reasonable course of action or doing the needful(?).
Given that the Radio Biafra is reportedly registered or licensed to operate in the United Kingdom and in which circumstance Mr. Kanu – the Director of the station – implicitly pays tax and other payments due for it as and when due, who then between the relevant British regulatory authorities and Mr. Nnamdi Kanu should in the prevailing circumstance be held responsible for whatever is deemed to be the outrageous content being aired by the station? Or shouldn’t Muhammadu Buhari and the “deep state” elements within his government be wise enough to know that only through the use of diplomatic processes and/or channels that the alleged offensive content being aired by the so-called pirate radio station could be contained? Meanwhile, granted that the British government has not till date found any good reason(s) or seen anything wrong, outrageous or ominous in the quality of the content being aired on the Radio Biafra to warrant the immediate withdrawal of its licence or even stop the station from operating within its clime or with the aid of its enabling airwave – notwithstanding the recent futile attempt by the British High Commission in Nigeria to misrepresent her government’s legitimate and unalloyed support for the just cause and the right of the Indigenous People of Biafra to exercise their inalienable right to seek selfdetermination (as enshrined in and guaranteed by the United Nations charter and sundry other international treaties, and) as was hitherto and legitimately sought by the people of Scotland through a well organised and globally watched referendum that ultimately saw the vast majority of the Scottish folks voting to reiterate their preference, faith, solidarity and commitment to the oneness of the British state – one wonders therefore what constitutes the substance of the charges being levelled against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Curiously, granted the fact that never in the history of this mere “geographical expression” has any plebiscite been organised to determine whether or not there is actually that voluntary resolve among the federating units or the diverse peoples of various nationalities co-existing within this mongrel entity called Nigeria since the attainment of its flag independence in 1960, one therefore wonders wherefrom President Muhammadu Buhari seemed to have derived his recent faulty and risible submission that all the people/ nationalities living within this Lugardian contraption are in complete accord with their prevailing hellish existence which obviously is only next to the type of existence obtainable in the kingdom of Satan. For the Nigerian military/the army and its reported threat and readiness to crush the peaceful pro-Biafra protesters over their continuous demands for the release of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, from the DSS detention “dark room” and for the realization of the state of Biafra, this, with all due respect, is the most uncivilised remark of the 21ist century to be credited to any sane army in the world. Of course, granted that the Nigerian army has not denied making this remark or even claimed that it is being misquoted by the media, it is thus safe to submit that the present crop of the leadership of the Nigerian army is not just living in the past or being misled by its apparently warped mindset resulting from the hysteria occasioned by its seemingly endless fight with the Boko Haram terrorists, but also it appears to be wallowing in ignorance about the fundamentals of the international standards of military rules of engagement with the civil populace within the context of a democratic setting. Perhaps the Nigerian military, especially the army, needs to be reminded at this juncture that the casus-belli or the genesis of the escalated and enlarged bloodletting/ civil war raging in Syria today was not unconnected with the brutal killings of peaceful anti-government protesters/ demonstrators by the Syrian Armed Forces at the behest of President Bashar al- Assad, since 2011. One simply hopes that this singular reminder will suffice to serve as a lesson to these hawks threatening fire and brimstone. On the other hand, and more importantly, the “deep state” elements within the Nigerian military, the army in particular, and the entire Nigerian Armed Forces, need not be further reminded that the existence of the International Criminal Court at Hague, Netherlands, is not for mere aesthetics. At the very best rather, this court of justice is established to timely deal decisively with such “deep state” and anti-human elements currently threatening to crush peaceful pro-Biafra protesters for daring to exercise their inalienable right to seek self-determination as clearly guaranteed by the United Nations charter and other international treaties and documents – which Nigeria is a signatory to.
Finally, for the in-house critics who are wont to brand the peaceful and nonviolent protests of their people and faithful as “evil” rather than commending them for their courageous demand for justice and freedom (or even deploying their God-given talent, influence and privileges to the great service of their people by using their offices to urgently and publicly call on their friends in power to respect the sanctity of life and the dictates of the rule of law), there is no gainsaying that time and events will definitely define or determine the course of good and/or evil of the pro-Biafra protests, and not the arbitrary or mere wishful thinking of known critics and chronic cavillers.
– O. P. CHIDULUEMIJE