Igwe Emenike, (NIGERIA MOMENT).
I knew Nnamdi personally. We met in Lagos about ten years ago. My late NIJ friend, Daniel Olekanma introduced Nnamdi to me.
Nnamdi had flown into Lagos from his Uk base to pursue his Biafran project ideals. We kind of struck a chord. I am equally interested in oratorical political campaigns. The idea of joining in overt Biafran agitation didnt quite bode well with me. I witnessed the last civil war. I saw its sufferings and atrocities. Biafran agitation to me would mean a resurrection of those things.
The events that led to the sixties Biafra are not the same today. The war could have been averted if the main actors like Gowon and Ojukwu were more matured in age and exposed. Ojukwu was indeed exposed but not sufficiently matured in age. Gowon lacked exposure especially as regards the manipulations of Britain.
I took Nnamdi around Lagos when I had the time. I took him to Hallmark newspaper where he was granted an interview. But I am not sure Hallmark ever published the interview. We had informal debates at a hotel in Isolo where he lodged. The debates were full of academic political theories. It made sense though but lacked practical understanding of the inherent dangers in this kind of campaign.
We lost contact when Nnamdi returned to England and we haven’t reestablished contact since then.
Biafra represents to the Igbo a focal point of pride. It was a rallying banner of pride to stand up-to blatant injustice and an attempt to wipe out our tribe. The mass murder of Igbos spearheaded by HausaFulani military men and civilians with the covert connivance of many Nigerian tribes provoked a just indignation for Igbos to fight for their lives.
I am very averse to war and violence of any type. I am a peace fanatic. I do not subscribe to amassing of heavy weapons for the purpose of killing and destroying properties.
Self determination campaign is not a crime. I think even the UN has provided a charter backing peaceful agitation for self determination. In Nigeria in particular, the likes of Habert Macauly, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tarwa Balewa all agitated and got self rule from Britain.
Nnamdi is not a criminal. I wonder what Buhari would be charging him for. He is following in the footsteps of the founders of Nigeria. Ghandi and Mandela are also notable and respectable international figures who fought against oppression.
The right approach for Nigeria is to address those factors that provoke these challenges to a United Nigeria. And if Nigeria cannot exist as a peaceful Union of tribes, it would not be out of place to consider a peaceful dissolution.
I urge Nnamdi’s supporters to follow peace as they pursue his immediate release. Violence destroys nations.
I call for Nnamdi’s immediate release.