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Tinubu Is Not The One Holding Nnamdi Kalu — Obidigbo

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Elder-statesman and frontline Industrialist, Dr Chike Obidigbo has urged politicians, especially those from the South-East, against compounding the travails of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

Obidigbo expressed regret that some Igbo political elites are going about the ongoing popular demand for the release of the embattled IPOB leader the wrong way, stressing that the overzealous politicians are acting out of ignorance and mostly in self-aggrandizement.

In a statement made available to journalists in Enugu, on Sunday, Obidigbo, who is the President of Osisioma Foundation, noted that the delicate nature of Kanu’s incarceration requires quiet diplomacy to achieve a political solution, without politicising the young man’s release, the way they are going about it.

While identifying the salient complications around the IPOB Leader’s forceful rendition and consequent incarceration, the Anambra-born elder statesman said Britain’s loud silence about Kanu’s predicament raises a large red flag.

Part of the statement reads: “I woke up this morning with a very heavy heart. I am constrained to say that I am not comfortable with the way and manner our political elites are going about their request for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“The sense I make of the cheap scramble by Igbo politicians to be identified in the growing calls for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom from prolonged and unjust incarceration is that they are merely playing to the gallery.

“It is obvious that President Bola Tinubu is not entirely the one holding Nnamdi Kanu. It was not even former President Muhammadu Buhari nor his erstwhile Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN). All the AGFs, including the current one are mere legal officers for the government.

“However, Kanu’s matter is a security issue, which requires the involvement of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu. The President may not have absolute power to release Kanu although he has the power to influence things if he so wishes.”


Obidigbo further disclosed that the other powerful elephant in the room blocking Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom is the British Government, stressing that Kanu acted against British economic interest in Nigeria.

He remarked that this economic interest, which Kanu’s agitation was negatively affecting, had been enriching the government and people of Britain, over several centuries, saying that “although the fact is well known every Nigerian elite, most are simply pretentious”.

“Everything that Kanu said or did was done in Britain, being a British citizen. But, they could not afford to arrest him on British soil, because of obvious and potential backlash.

“What Britain did was to join in the international conspiracy to lure Kanu to Kenya, knowing that Africans lack integrity and respect for laws.

“They then got him kidnapped in Kenya and forcibly and illegally renditioned him to Nigeria. They could not have done that in any other part of the world, outside of Africa, without extreme repercussions and consequences. Such can only happen in Africa, and they knew that much.

“The British High Commissioner in Nigeria showed no interest in at least speaking up against the violent kidnap and rendition of her citizen. All the Embassy was interested in was to hear Kanu renounce his dream of a Biafra, probably with a promise never to support any such agitation in future,” he said.

The Industrialist said Britain’s double standards and hypocrisy betray their long-term destabilising designs against Nigeria’s socioeconomic prosperity and independence.

According to Obidigbo, here was the same Britain that was frustrated in 1984 with the forceful abduction and return to Nigeria of Alhaji Umaru Dikko, who was not even a British citizen at the time, but merely an asylum seeker in Britain.


“Britain continues to see Nigeria as their own fertile farmland for free economic exploitation and political manipulation. They have no wish to relax their stranglehold, not now, not in the near future.

“But then, African youths are gradually coming up to challenge all the existing frustrations, deprivations, and blatant exclusion from enjoying the natural endowments of their own countries,” he said.

He noted that what the British may not reckon with easily is that the Biafra agitation had since gone beyond Nnamdi Kanu, because other elements had keyed into the struggle, thereby fuelling the agitation way beyond even Kanu’s expectations.

Obidigbo claimed that restraining Kanu, as it is erroneously believed by his captors, had little chance of disrupting the movement he founded.

“It seems that all that is hindering the actualisation of the dream of Biafra is the lack of involvement of the elites- excluding imposed leaders and greedy political elites- in the struggle.

“Genuine efforts to free Kanu should be directed at the NSA as well as the Ambassadors of Britain, USA and Ambassadors of some well-meaning, and Influential countries like China, Russia, etc.

“Without the buy-in of those powerful nations, the struggle will surely continue, until Biafra gets the referendum that IPOB has been demanding, however they get it.

“If Kanu is released on political grounds, without holding a referendum as IPOB demands, the struggle will most likely continue, thereby rendering elusive or delaying further the much sought after peace.”

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