IPOB Leader, Kanu: Riding The Tiger’s Tail?

When on April 23, 2017, Justice Binta Nyako granted bail to the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, she gave conditions which Kanu must maintained.
Kanu was arrested in 2015 on an 11-count charge bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony and was in detention until that morning when Justice Nyako released him on bail..
In granting Kanu bail on ‘health ground’, Justice Nyako forbade Kanu from holding rally of any kind. He was asked not to grant press interview; he was not to be seen in a crowd of more than 10 people, among other conditions.
Kanu was warned that if he flouted any of the bail conditions before his trial commenced on July 11, he risked been sent back to detention.
That brings us to the question if Kanu has kept his side of the bargain. And if he has not been riding the tiger’s tail in these past four months of his freedom.
From every indicator available, Kanu to my mind has flung the bail conditions into the ditch.
Apart from political speeches, his interviews with the press both electronics and print media, he has been moving in convoy, attending rallies. Kanu had behaved as if he won the case the Federal Government has against him. He seems to forget that he is on bail and the case is still pending in a law court.
On May 28, Kanu spoke to a congregation of Biafran supporters on the occasion of the Shabbat, a Jewish religious programme.
“Not minding what is happening, we remain IPOB, is that correct? We are unstoppable. This congregation here is very special to me. This is the very first observance of Shabbat in this very family. My joy knows no bounds because in prison I used to dream about this; I used to dream about keeping the Shabbat,” he said.
The IPOB leader also used the occasion to call on Igbos and supporters of Biafra to shut down their business operations on May 30.
“On the 30th of May, we will shut this very place down and prepare for Biafra. The choice is theirs, if they will give us a date for the referendum. And if they fail to do that there will be no election in the south east forever and ever,” he said.
Then on May 31, for the second time in three days, Kanu addressed a crowd of supporters, numbering more than 10, at his father’s palace in Abia state.
Three days after addressing his supporters, Al Jazeera published an interview where Kanu was quoted as saying the bail conditions were too stringent.
Asked if the interview could get him into trouble, he was quoted to have said: “I don’t care.”“It’s like asking me not to breathe,” he said.
“I can’t go outside to call for a press conference. I can’t go on Biafra Radio to broadcast. I can’t allow large groups of people to basically congregate outside to see me.”
Immediately after this, he granted interview to a German TV station.
On July 8, again, in a blatant disregard to his bail conditions, Kanu stormed the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State and restated his stand that there would be no election in Anambra State and the entire South East land if referendum was not conducted preparatory for the restoration of Biafra.
He told a mammoth crowd that IPOB members should not participate in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State.
Kanu and his entourage who arrived Learning Field premises, Omagba Phase II, Onitsha, at about 6.10 p.m. and were received by a tumultuous crowd of IPOB members estimated at over 50,000, alighted from his Toyota Sienna bus and knelt down on top of clothing materials spread for him on the ground and prayed for the repose of the souls of IPOB members who were killed in Onitsha on May 30, 2016 and before then.
After the prayers, he observed a minute silence and started going round the field with microphone to acknowledge cheers from the crowd. As he was waiving at the crowd, he told them that he was in Onitsha to pass a special message to them.
He said that ”there would be no election in Anambra state and in Biafra land, unless there is referendum.”
He was quoted as saying: “There will be no election in Anambra and Biafra land forever and ever. This land belongs to Biafra”.
He further declared: “Our enemies will fail. We are without fear before our enemies. I will be alive to see Biafra or dead fighting for it. You all must see Biafra. Our enemies must know that Biafra was designed in heaven. They must know we are not joking”.
At this juncture, the uncontrollable crowd surged into the centre of the field and started chanting “no election, no election, no referendum, no election”.
Kanu’s action on this particular day was clearly a breach of one of the bail conditions he willingly accepted to gain his freedom. And one wonders why he has refused to abide by them.
Now that the day for him to appear in court for commencement of his trial, will the Judge Revoke his bail and sent back to prison?
This will be one question in the minds of everyone as Kanu stands before Justice Nyako for commencement of his trial, July 11.

Author: News Editor

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