The most difficult and dangerous people to deal with are those who control the mob. This is because of a major characteristic of the mob which makes them unpredictable and easily malleable. Of the five dictionary meanings of the mob, two succinctly depict the kind of mob being alluded to here. The first definition of mob is given as ”An unruly group of people”. The second definition is given as ”The lower classes of a community; the rabble”.
Watchers of the activities of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), will agree that the majority of people who follow him fall into the categories of people mentioned above. Because of their nature which makes them easy to brainwash and manipulate, they can become dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced or mischievous person whom they look up to for direction. That appears to be the case in the relationship between Kanu and his followers.
Early in the past week, the news of Kanu worshipping in a Jewish Temple in Israel had gone viral on the internet and the social media. It was celebrated mostly by those who see him as the Messiah of the New Biafra Nation. He would later make a broadcast on Biafra Radio in which he among other things, insisted on a referendum as the only solution to the problems of the country, just as he called for a boycott of the election.
The referendum will determine whether or not he and his people will stay in Nigeria. This is against the stand of his kinsmen in the Igbo Nation who want a restructured Nigeria in which everyone will be free to develop at their own pace and have equal opportunities as others .
While the stand of Kanu and that of the Igbo Nation has been on the front burner of discourse for a while, what certainly appears worrisome to enlightened minds is the sudden reappearance of Kanu at this time the Igbo Nation appears to have glimpsed some light at the end of the political tunnel. That light is the possibility of an Igbo son becoming the nation’s Number Two citizen, something that could happen 36 years after the last time it happened, with the late Sir Alex Ekwueme, as Vice President under the late Shehu Shagari.
This followed the choice of former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, as the running mate of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; a ticket that has been celebrated not just by Ndigbo, but by many Nigerians across ethnic and political divide.
But rather than join in working towards the realization of this ticket which many see as an opportunity to end the unpopular and oppressive government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Kanu, who had contrived to be incommunicado for over a year, suddenly reappeared to be preaching against people voting.
This action has led some people to even suspect that Kanu is working in cahoots with the Federal Government to reduce Igbo votes in the presidential election next year.
Being that the Southeast is a known no-go area for Buhari, the only thing to ensure that enough votes are not gotten there is to dissuade people from voting, which Kanu is doing.
One therefore wonders if Kanu who complains of marginalization of Ndigbo in the country under Buhari would welcome another four years of same marginalization instead of embracing a new government that gives hope to Ndigbo.
If Igbos do not vote, how then can they hope to change their fortunes, especially when the realization of a New Biafran State remains largely a remote possibility? Why must anyone try to scuttle what appears the only chance Ndigbo have to be major players in the country’s politics?
Unlike during the last guber election in Anambra State when Kanu called for a boycott of the election in which any number of people that voted then would still have produced an Anambra son as the governor, this time, if the majority of Ndigbo boycott the election, Buhari will be favoured and the chances of Ndigbo becoming relevant again will disappear
So why is Kanu doing what he’s doing now? He may not be taken seriously in some quarters but the fact remains that he commands a considerable followership, even if a large swathe of such followership is unenlightened. Strangely, their being unenlightened makes the matter a bit more complicated as such are the people who in their ignorance succeed in throwing spanner in the works of their immediate society.
This is the time for the Igbo Nation to stay united and attempt to navigate their way out of the sad situation they have found themselves in. It is not a time for any sort of distraction which Kanu and his mob can cause and are apparently about to cause.
The vice presidency through a major party perhaps offers Ndigbo their quickest route to Aso Rock for now and it is a project which every Igbo person should support and that includes Kanu.