“Nigeria will burn if I’m re-arrested” — Nnamdi Kanu
The Federal Government recently initiated a move to re-arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu after he was granted bail by an Abuja Federal High Court. Meanwhile, Kanu in an exclusive interview with OKEY SAMPSON vowed to resist the arrest, insisting that Nigeria would burn if the Federal Government move to re-arrest him. He also spoke on other issues as they relate to the agitation.
You’ve toured the territory called Biafra since you came out of detention, what is your impression about what you have seen so far?
I’ve not completed the tour as a matter of fact. What I have seen so far is much enthusiasm. I have seen hope, the rekindling of hope and I have seen the burning desire for genuine change and the call for freedom which is exactly what we are doing and pursuing. There is no visiting dignitary, Head of State, political or religious leader that has been able to command the type of crowd that come out anywhere I visit or any town I go to. It has never been replicated or set as a precedence ever before. All the crowd that came out to welcome me were unprecedented; they came out in their historical numbers to witness the gospel that I preached. I don’t pay any of them. In fact, those people are the ones who are responsible for the running of IPOB and to make things happen. If I were to visit Lagos, it will be the same, If were to go to Kano, it will be the same thing. People will come out to see me because I preach the truth.
What has been the message all this while?
The message is that we IPOB members must remain resolute, disciplined and focused in all we are doing. We are not going to relent; the call for Biafra is our own interpretation of the principles of self-determination.That’s exactly what we are doing.
There are reports that you’ve reneged on your call for the boycott of the Anambra election. Could this be true?
I gave a speech in Aba, Abia State on Sunday and I made it absolutely clear that the boycott stays. We must boycott election in Anambra State.It is our civic responsibility to do so and that’s what we are going to do – total and absolute boycott, to let the whole world understand the strength of IPOB on the ground, in Anambra State.
You’ve gone round and your people are happy, but to some other people, you are over-stepping your bounds by flouting your bail conditions. What’s your reaction?
Are you talking about an illegal and unconstitutional bail condition? A bail condition designed to emasculate and basically render IPOB impotent? Does anyone seriously think I’m going to stand for IPOB to be rendered desolate? I can’t allow that to happen, I have not violated any laws unknown to the Nigerian judicial establishment. I have not committed any offence; no crime whatsoever. I said no crime. It is a violation of my right to ask me not to speak; to ask me not to be in a congregation of not more than 10 people, an absolute violation of articles enshrined in the constitution that I expect all and sundry to be rising up in defence of, not trying to justify the erosion of my fundamental human rights to speak, to be heard and to associate.
President Muhammadu Buhari was the one who broke the laws, he disobeyed the direct court order to release me unconditionally, not once, but twice. Honourable Shuaibu of Wuse Magistrate Court granted me bail, Buhari did not release me. Hon Justice Ademola granted me unconditional bail, Buhari and his cousin, Lawal Daura refused to honour that court order.
They are the ones who should be detained for flagrant disobedience to court orders. I want the northern Arewa irredentists to call for the arrest of Buhari and Daura for flouting court order after court order, asking for my release. It smacks of hypocrisy and absolute cowardice that people who could not rise up in defence of the law when a court made a judicial pronouncement are now clamouring for my arrest because they believe it is easy to do so. Before now, Nnamdi Kanu is Igbo, he is a Biafran and can be arrested and nothing will happen but that would not be anymore, it would no longer happen.
Recently Arewa youths ordered the Igbo in the North to leave and nothing happened to them. The same Arewa youths are calling for your re-arrest and the Federal Government is making moves towards that. How do you reconcile this?
They are the ones in power. They believe that Fulani owns Nigeria and people must understand this. They conquered Hausa people and Hausa helped them to conquer other people, everybody is being terrified by the Fulani. Everybody is scared of them; but I’m Nnamdi Kanu, I’m not scared of them.
Are you not afraid that you could be re-arrested as the Federal Government has begun that move?
I don’t care! Quote me verbatim.If I’m re-arrested, this country will burn, I assure you. From where that oil money they depend on, they can no longer have access to it. I assure them that. This is not empty threat.We’re IPOB, we don’t abandon our own.
I know you have a son whom you have not set your eyes on since he was born, because of agitation. Don’t you feel for this boy; his future if something untoward happens to him?
I will sacrifice anything including my family to ensure that Biafra is restored. Any obstacle on my way will be obliterated. I’m not asking for Sokoto; I’m not asking for Kaduna, or Borno, I said this very land where my progenitors raised us; the land of our ancestors; of over 5, 000 years old, this land must be free, absolutely free, I assure you of that. The way we were before the whiteman came; had the white man not come, I would have no relationship with Sokoto, non whatsoever. The whiteman is not God, only God can create a nation, Lord Luguard is not God, only God can create a nation. I can tell you the day Nigeria was created even till the exact second and hour, but you can’t tell me when Biafra was created. It came as a result of organic interaction of cultures and value systems and traditions fussed into one to make Biafra a possibility, that is how nations emerge. By the collision of commonalities and value systems, not one idiot somewhere pontificating and dictating to us who should be in a country or not. Other African people can accept it, Nnamdi kanu cannot accept that. The whiteman is not God and cannot create a country for me. Have Nigerians sat round the table to say we have agreed that our name is Nigeria? We want to live together; perhaps, there will be a strong argument against what I’m proposing. Right now, what we are seeking to do is go back to where we were before 1914. From there, we can then begin to negotiate and discuss.
President Buhari in a recent broadcast said Nigeria’s unity is non negotiable and directed the security agencies to deal with any group that will work against this. What’s your reaction?
I don’t place any degree of importance to his speech and I will tell you why. First, I don’t believe he was the one that wrote the speech, I don’t believe he was the one that read it. If they prove me wrong, they should subscribe to a DNA test. That is number one; number two, if that speech was contemporary as they made us believe and not a generic one, how come there was no mention of the quit notice, how come he did not call for the people inciting Northern youths, Almajiri to genocide? Why is it that those calling for the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu cannot call for the arrest of the so called Arewa elders, not the youths because they came out to say that their elders knew what they were doing. They have the support of their elders, even the governors, that’s what they said. Why is nobody arresting them because they are in the army, they are in the air force, they are in the police, there is Fulani everywhere, they control everything so, when they speak, you are supposed to be shaking, but unfortunately, I’m not one of those that shake; instead when I speak they should be shaking because they know what is behind me. They are more intelligent than most people, I give them credit for that, they know what it means to arrest me, they understand the implications. Look at the first one they went through, Nigeria is at the brink of collapse. Second one, we kick it over the precipice I assure you. Life to me is meaningless, the only thing that gives me hope everyday is the idea that I may see Biafra. If I am not a dead man, what am I doing without Biafra? Life will be meaningless, useless to me.
You spoke about the wall of the country falling if you are re-arrested. Since IPOB is non violent, how are you going to achieve this?
Apartheid collapsed in South Africa, segregation collapsed in the USA, Martin Luther King had no weapons, the same thing is happening. There is a superior force fighting for us in heaven, Chukuokike Abiama, the Almighty God in heaven is fighting. This is His battle, it is not Nnamdi Kanu or IPOB’s battle. God is fighting His battle for us. Have you ever heard of earthquake in Nigeria? It happened in 2016 in the North when I was arrested; have you heard of locusts swarming everywhere and damaging crops before? These are plagues of biblical proportion and it is just a warning, a tester of what is to come. What I represent is greater than who I am and the God that we worship, Chukuokike Abiama is about to make manifest that the whole world may know that Biafra is very special, exceptionally special and there is nothing any man can do, absolutely nothing.
You said God gave you a message for the Igbo, can you share the message with us?
That Biafra is coming and that we must remain very strong and resolute. The only thing He requires of us is to worship Him, that’s all He wants us to do and not to worship idol and Biafra will come and the world will see and will testify it. The Igbo should turn away from idolatry and face God and Him alone, that’s the message he said I should give my people. What is delaying Biafra is that the people have not turned away totally from worshipping idols. I will be going to Arochuwku to build a temple there and we’ll worship God how it used to be. There was a time God loved us, we used to obey Him by going to Arochukwu to offer Him sacrifice. We started suffering as soon as Arochukwu failed, because the people dabbled into idolatry.
You said you would visit Lagos and Kaduna in no distant time. Don’t you feel for your security?
I have a lot of friends in Lagos and Southern Kaduna too. When the time comes, I will visit those places. You spoke about my security, but I’m telling you that I’m not living any more.What you are seeing is but an empty shell that is only seeking for Biafra.
You keep saying that all you think about is Biafra, but MASSOB founder, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike once said that you do n’t know anything about Biafra. What’s your reaction?
Isn’t it very sad that the only way he could attract attention to his publication was by mentioning the name Nnamdi Kanu? That’s how low he has sunk. Had he not mentioned Nnamdi Kanu, nobody would have bought any newspaper having such an interview; it’s a shame, isn’t it? How the mighty has fallen. If Uwazuruike had not mentioned Nnamdi Kanu, nobody would have read anything he was writing. That’s my answer.
Uwazuruike went further in the interview to say that I’m calling for the boycott of Anambra election to help APC win the election. But I want to tell him at various times I have been accused of supporting virtually every political party in the country and every major player. But the thing of joy for IPOB is that we have the benefit of longevity and time; there is no lie that time will not reveal. Now, it is clearly demonstrated beyond every reasonable doubt that when former President Goodluck was in office, I went hard after him. It was said that I was being sponsored by APC. APC came in, I went after Buhari, but Jonathan was very sensible not minding where we have disagreement, he was very sensible, he ignored me. He knew that as a democrat, as a Biafran at heart that how you kind of moderate views and emotions within a society is to ventilate them and allow people to say what they want; that the reason we have the National Assembly is not to make laws only. You create room for people with diverse views and opinions and ideas. It’s better they are ttalking than fighting, that’s why you have parliament, people don’t know that.
I heard that he equally said that if I need money that I should come to him, but what Uwazuruike has refused to know is that I am not a money monger like him; we are not the same. All he thinks about is money, but I think about Biafra and that’s the huge difference. He has been abandoned by his slave masters, the Hausa/Fulani he has been serving so diligently for many years. The wool has fallen off the eyes of our people; everyone knows he is a fraud. What am I doing with money? If I were looking for money, I would have settled with the Buhari government. I don’t need money, the only thing I need is Biafra, Uwazuruike cannot do what I did, he can never do nothing in a billion years. Now, I’m very glad that he has seen that all the money he made,is worthless because he has lost his reputation, he has no name to fall back to. People give me stuff, the cars I use, people gave them to me. I don’t buy anything, so, what do I need money for? I don’t need to buy anything, the furniture in my house, people built them for me. I am serving my people everyday and today we have honour and prestige because of IPOB. It’s not only our people, every other component ethnic nationality, is rising up to speak because of IPOB. If I had compromised, do you think they would have the courage to rise up? It’s called honour and integrity and Uwazuruike has got none.