VANGUARD INTERVIEW, BY EMMANUEL OKOGBA
***Calls Nuremberg attack appetizer! ‘IPOB members want to be arrested abroad’
Says 100% of what sustains Nigeria come from ‘Biafraland’
On the heels of the attack on former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, the leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, spoke exclusively to Sunday Vanguard, last week, from exile, suggesting that the battle line between some Igbo politicians and IPoB had been drawn.
When you founded IPOB, the mission was to effect change but not through violent means and that won you supporters across the spectrum in Igboland. Are you deviating from that mission?
We remain a peaceful movement committed to upholding the principles of non-violence that have over the years underpinned our activities. I do not for one moment think that a valid protest in Nuremberg against the principal actor in the conspiracy of Igbo politicians to have me and my parents murdered in my home is in any way indicative of a lurch towards violence. In comparison to the invasion of my home by the Nigerian Army under the guise of Operation Python Dance 2, what obtained in Nuremberg is a mild and insignificant outpouring of emotion. Had our intention been to avenge the death of our people slaughtered during the military invasion of my house, he would be in a state of coma by now, receiving his watery meals through a tube. When we get hold of the likes of Dave Umahi, Rochas Okorocha, Willie Obiano and Okezie Ikpeazu, the world will truly understand how madly upset we are.
Nuremberg was an appetizer; the main course will be served soon, hopefully somewhere in the UK or US. To allow these conspirators to get away with the death of over 600 people, 28 of which fell in my house defending me as a result of military operation they instigated, will be tantamount to abdication responsibility on my part.
Ekweremadu was one of the few Igbo that stood up to defend you when you were detained in Nigeria. He is also known to have spoken up against Igbo marginalisation. Does he deserve what they did to him?
To those who gathered in Nuremberg, he represented the face of that leadership that is responsible for our misery and pain as a people. He was part and parcel of the plot to have me and my parents murdered in my home and our dream of Biafra freedom extinguished in the process. As an elected representative of the people, it is his duty to speak out against injustice as was the case when I was illegally detained against multiple court orders by the Nigerian government. He was doing his duty as an elected servant of the people which is what is expected of him. My local parliamentary representative in Westminster parliament in London Harriet Harman MP and Julie Ward MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels equally campaigned for my release but none of them ever turned around to plot my assassination. Have you ever heard that IPOB attacked Senator Abaribe or spoke ill of him? It is because Abaribe is consistent. He stood surety for me; even when he came under immense pressure to sign my death warrant, he refused. That is the meaning of genuine leadership. You don’t campaign for my release in the morning only to turn around in the evening and plan for my death, only a few weeks afterwards, because I refused to compromise my stance on Biafra and you expect me to remain eternally grateful to you for that. Have you ever asked yourself what would have become of me had the battalion of soldiers they sent to my house succeeded in killing me?
In what ways does the attack address your grievances?
It sent a clear and unambiguous message to those who plotted my assassination and brought death to our land through Python Dance that we have not forgotten and will never forget. Every collaborator in Abuja, or those in Government Houses in the South-East, that in one way or the other connived to kill us, will and must be held accountable and taught a lesson their children will never forget for as long as they live. We have not committed any crime nor done any wrong to warrant their wickedness and desire to see us enslaved. As I said previously, the Nuremberg encounter is a polite reminder, the real action is coming soon.
Don’t you think he is the wrong person to attack?
No and for the reasons I outlined above. Anybody who was part of the Nike Lake Resort meeting of the 15th of September 2017, that effectively rubber-stamped my assassination and the deadly invasion of our land, will be confronted. Ekweremadu regrettably happens to be one of the chief sponsors of that gathering in Enugu. The records of the financiers, sponsors and attendees of that meeting are a matter of public record.
Sen. Ekweremadu is regarded as a good Igbo ambassador in the National Assembly. There were instances when he even attacked the North in the interest of Ndigbo.
I have no doubt that those who wish to see the continuation of the subservient, miserable and almost slave like status of Ndigbo in Nigeria will see him as a good ambassador. The same people sold Rochas Okorocha to us as a detribalised Nigerian a few years back. See the disappointment he has become to the Igbo nation and Biafra at large. Those celebrating the culture of incompetence and mediocrity are the ones promoting these people. Arrangee verbal attacks against Arewa North without credibly hurting their interests are meaningless. Where is the 2nd Niger Bridge? Why hasn’t it been built when 100% of the resources that sustain the whole of Nigeria come from Biafraland? Of what use are these politicians when they connive to undermine IPOB that is truly checkmating the excesses of the Fulani Caliphate in our land?
You claimed that Ekweremadu supported Operation Python Dance. It is difficult to believe this claim especially since he belongs to the opposition party at the federal level.
Again I refer you to the response I provided above but let me elucidate further. He, in my view, is the conspirator-in-chief of Operation Python Dance 2 whose mission was to kill me and everybody around me. Even when Abuja officials showed reluctance to carry out the attack against me, it was Ekweremadu, among others, who pleaded with them to proceed and that nothing will happen. They assured Abuja people that Igbo traditional rulers and senior clergy will support the Nigerian Army which is exactly what happened. If in any doubt, ask Archbishop Chukwuma of Anglican Church Enugu. On September 14, 2017, the Nigerian Army launched a deadly attack on my home. The next day, September 15, 2017, Ekweremadu and co gathered at Nike Lake Resort at the request of the governors to issue a public condemnation of myself and IPOB. The essence of the meeting was to demonstrate Igbo solidarity with the Nigerian Army invasion and to reassure Abuja officials that Igbo politicians and traditional rulers were in support of the plot to kill me. Then came the timely intervention of people like Archbishop Anikwenwa and a handful of traditional rulers who insisted that Operation Python Dance should be condemned instead of IPOB. These are verifiable facts. How many of these politicians consistently condemned Operation Python Dance 2? One press statement or letter written to the ‘President’ for the consumption of the gullible public hardly constitutes meaningful pressure in a totalitarian rule. In my opinion, it was mere window dressing designed to exonerate the guilty. What effect can a letter have on a government that does not obey the law? We are IPOB and, before we launch an attack against anyone, we have our facts, figures and full intelligence report on the activities of that very person.
You have always complained that the Igbo elite are not part of the struggle. Don’t you think the attack on Ekweremadu would discourage Igbo elite from supporting IPOB?
If by elite you mean those that gained national prominence or attained high political office on the back of northern patronage, then you are not only mistaken, the true meaning of elitism is lost on us. A system that prides itself on wallowing in mediocrity, poor governance, corruption and what the great economist Goran Hyden termed economy of affection, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be capable of producing an elite class within the proper meaning or context of the word. There is no elite class in Nigeria talk less in the South-East. What you have are power hungry, half educated dimwits, primed by primitive instinct to accumulate obscene wealth to the detriment of the masses. You cannot have an elite class where there is no electricity, common running water or good roads. IPOB is a movement of conscience dedicated to the political liberation of Biafraland and mental emancipation of all ethnic nationalities caged by Lugard in the damnation we know as Nigeria. Anybody who subscribes to our world view is welcome to be part of us. We do not beg. There are more educated, well to do professionals in IPOB than the present crop of failed leadership in Nigeria put together. Those you erroneously call Igbo elite are nothing but petty collaborators with paper degrees. They are servants of the Caliphate with nothing to offer the masses other than their well honed skills of sabotage and working as informants for the government of the day in return for political reward.
You asked for the itinerary of Igbo governors when they visit overseas. If any of them or any politician visits and gets injured and there is evidence that you asked for their itinerary, don’t you think you could be arrested wherever you are and tried?
An arrest in any civilised country is exactly what we in IPOB are looking for. It would afford us that rare opportunity not only to disgrace the criminals masquerading as politicians in a genuine court of law, it will also provide us a platform to dissect the ills of Nigeria in a manner that will shock even the most ardent supporter of the 1914 amalgamation. Those who are ignorant of how protest laws work in the western world are those pinning their hopes on legal deterrent. If any politician, especially Igbo governors and Nnia Nwodo, are bold enough to set foot on a foreign soil, what shall become of them will be recounted by night time tales in the next 1,000 years.