By Ezekiel John

The struggle to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu from detention by staunch members and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has literally turned into a comic series. It must really be exhausting, the constant scheming to riddle the internet with different kinds of false narratives churned out on a daily basis just to paint government black and sell their arrowhead, Nnamdi Kanu as the “Saint.” Saint indeed. Since his arrest and detention for terrorism, IPOB has not rested on its oars in using blackmail, fake news and propaganda to draw an illusionary image of their leader suffering, being maltreated or bedridden with one illness or the other in detention. Ridiculous and almost laughable is the adoption of blackmail and other devises by IPOB. Shortly after Kanu was incarcerated, the group began imposing pointless sit-at-home orders in protest to blackmail government to release him. IPOB insisted that weekly Sit-at-home directive would be enforced until Nnamdi Kanu was released unconditionally by the Federal Government. It is inconceivable that the group could think that cheap blackmail could be used as a tactic to arm twist or pressure the Nigerian government to release Kanu.

To further prove that the members of the group are nothing but ignorant, inept, imbecilic, empty skulls, they did not factor in the economic devastation of the sit-at-home or on their own kin and kinship. Almost a year down the line, the sit at home Hullabaloo achieved nothing other than grounding commercial activities and leading to an economic loss estimated at trillions of naira, loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties with majority of the victims sadly Igbos. In a clear attempt to use economic pressure to achieve their goals, the group has on several occasions threatened to disrupt the economy by calling for a boycott of goods if Kanu was not released.

Propaganda is another tactic used by IPOB to secure Kanu’s release. The group has been painting Kanu as a hero and a victim of oppression, portraying his arrest as an attack on the Igbo people and their quest for self-determination. They have also been using social media to rally support from their followers and to spread their fake news and misinformation. It is however encouraging that these tactics has been met with criticism from some Nigerians who view it as divisive and aimed at promoting ethnic nationalism. It is becoming glaring to the public that the devises of IPOB are nothing short of malicious and evil intentioned.

In all IPOB’s failed effort, the Nigerian Government has not flinched, neither has it given in to IPOB’s demand so they moved to using fake news and misinformation to secure Kanu’s release. The group has been spreading false information about the state of Kanu’s health, claiming that he is in critical condition and in need of urgent medical attention. Indeed, desperation is the enemy of rationality. Otherwise why continue to plant stories and exaggerate false news about his health condition. From lies about his heart failing to persistent ear defect to fake news of him being poorly fed in detention, IPOB never grows weary of such ludicrous speculations. At some point IPOB claimed Kanu was being denied change of clothing because he mischievously refuses a change of raiment each time he was to appear in court. But sources have however continued to avow that Nnamdi Kanu enjoys luxurious lifestyle in custody. He gets choice meals and enjoys comfortable lifestyle. This was evident when Charles Soludo, Governor of Anambra, visited the Kanu in detention. It became clear that he was not being kept in an inferior room because the ambience of the room they stayed in, did not suggest any mistreatment or neglect.

On all his appearance during his court outings, many swore Kanu looks healthy, fresh and vibrant. Even when the Justice Binta Nyako in charge of his case gave the directive for him to change his clothes, Nnamdi Kanu remained adamant just so he can give the false impression of being ill-treated. All these tactics are aimed at garnering sympathy as well as deceive the international community to put pressure on government to release him. For each of this desperate effort, government has continually debunked them and insists Kanu’s health is perfect. Even those peddling the fake news and propaganda know the truth- Nnamdi Kanu looks healthier than them!

Nnamdi Kanu is not innocent and must be made to face the full wrath of the law. It is shocking that Global Terrorism Index in its latest report has RATED IPOB 10TH DEADLIEST TERROR GROUP IN THE WORLD. Their wicked strategies and desperation to wreak havoc using blackmail, fake news and propaganda has finally boomerang on them and only fetched them bad rating, not only in Nigeria but the whole world. The group is gaining the popularity it craved for, but it is coming with a bad name and title. The South East is now a den of criminality and gradually turning into a war zone. IPOB and its military wing, ESN should be held responsible. Nnamdi Kanu must be legally tried till the end. The group’s action has remained divisive and a threat to national unity. While Nnamdi Kanu awaits his fate which is hopefully a very long jail time, it is important for IPOB to find a peaceful and constructive way to address their grievances and work towards a solution that benefits all Nigerians.

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