Nnamdi Kanu-A Comparison with World’s most known Freedom Seekers
The rise and ascendancy of Nnamdi Kanu to the Igbo Political advocacy was sudden and swift, an inevitable consequence resulting from the Igbo political leadership power vacuum at the top produced by the perceived bankruptcy of Igbo political leadership as it exists today at the top. Kanu has charm and charisma and has human and leadership qualities found in the world’s most known freedom fighters including Burmese pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi’s history of resistance, Martin Luther King Jr of the American civil rights movement, Soviet nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov who became a human rights campaigner and spent lots of time in Soviet prison and ultimately won the Nobel Prize in 1975.
Like Nnamdi Kanu all of these most known political prisoners in the world spent lots of time in prison and while incarcerated their determination to achieve freedom was never impacted by their tough imprisonment conditions. Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma spent long time under house arrest often released and re-incarcerated again. Nelson Mandela spent about 29 years in the famous Robben Island and Pollsmoor prison in South Africa before he was released to become South Africa’s first black ANC President. Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi’s (Mahatma meaning “the Great one) history of resistance began in South Africa with his work and challenge to end discrimination against Indians residing in South Africa. He spent months and years periodically in South African prison. When he was finally released he moved back to India and began challenging the British rule in India which ultimately produced independence for India, five months after Ghandi’s assassination.
Martin Luther King Jr was the founder of the American civil rights movement. He was arrested and jailed over 30 times, one remembers his popular “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963 in which he proclaimed that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was also assassinated. Andrei Sakharov who was a Soviet Nuclear Scientist became a champion of human rights and eventually was stripped of all his honors and sent into exile in icy environment of Gorky by the Soviet dictators. He was released from prison exile by Mikhail Gorbachev He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.
Nnamdi Kanu spent nearly 2 years in Nigeria’s Kuje prison, non of his punishments changed his beliefs and thinking of freedom for his oppressed people. He was granted bail initially but suppressed by the Nigerian government and when he was finally released he was escorted from prison by a motorcade of over 100 cars. His world status as a freedom seeker has grown exponentially thanks to the actions of Buhari’s government. I will predict that when Biafra is finally achieved through Nnamdi Kanu’s non violence pursuit, Kanu would be granted a Nobel Peace Prize eventually. His rise to Igbo political advocacy marks a slow but gradual and inevitable transition from older Igbo order to a new one led by a younger generation bent on achieving political and economic independence. For every one Igbo person that condemns Kanu among the Igbos there are ten, the silent majority who remain quiet over this matter. Nnamdi Kanu has millions of followers not only in the South East but also in the South South political zones.
The only advice one can give to Kanu is to be a little more careful with his public pronouncements and surround himself with well trained and experienced security apparatus at all times. He must continue to employ his non violence philosophy also used by these most well known world political freedom seekers chronicled above. To Kanu’s credit nobody has killed in the name of IPOB, and that is the way it is folks
Written by Okechukwu P. Oranika, Political Analyst and Public Administrator
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