How Nnamdi Kanu manages to enforce a sit-at-home every Monday through his proscribed IPOB group is still something I cannot understand. The Governors in the South East sat back and allowed the sit-t-home order take root and became a norm. The FG also allowed it take root. Failure of leadership from top to bottom.
In the beginning, when IPOB started this madness, the politicians and elite said it was because of Igbo Marginalisation and blamed the federal government.
Who are we blaming now?
For those that witnessed the emergence of Boko Haram in the North East and experienced the havoc they wrecked on the region, warned about the tendency of IPOB’s agitation morphing into a wider terrorism and chaos in the South East. Sadly, it is playing out exactly as warned.
When the infamous unknown gunmen were attacking military outposts and police stations, some of us noted it had IPOB/ESN written all over it. Many IPOB sympathizers swore it could not possibly be IPOB/ESN. That IPOB/ESN is peaceful and Nnamdi Kanu is a freedom fighter.
But again, it was a legitimate concern, a legitimate observation based on an experience of a similar trend in the north east.
IPOB bears all the markings of a terrorist organisation. If you witnessed the rise of Boko Haram, you cannot just help but compare. The only difference is that IPOB’s separatist agitation is fuelled by politics/ethnicity and Boko Haram’s agitation was fuelled by religion.
But it is very similar in almost all other area. Nnamdi Kanu reminds me of Mohammed Yusuf. Similar messianic delusion, similar use of radio to garner followers, similar hatred for opposition and perceived “saboteurs”, similar totalitarian views. Lots of comparisons, and of course the two groups all started off peacefully and gradually leaned towards violence with time. From attacking security forces to attacking Government facilities to attacking civilian “saboteurs” and then full-blown indiscriminate attacks. It is a pattern.
How are you terrorizing your own people in the name of fighting for their freedom?
Is that not Boko Haram without the religious motivation?
And one thing is just axiomatic: if you allow non state actors to have access to weapons under whatever guise, it always leads to chaos. The original intention does not matter. It almost always degenerates into a wider violence and chaos. It is that simple.
Igboho was not a state actor, thus, he was summarily rejected by South West elites and intellectuals. Today, he has changed his tone after his ordeal with federal government and there is relative peace in Yoruba land. He was not encouraged and supported by educated and exposed elites.
The only good thing from this whole charade is that a good number of people in the South East are quickly acknowledging that IPOB means no good for them. That is a good sign and it will help, in the long term, go dislodge these terrorists from the region.