Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the founder of the Eastern Security Network is slowly destroying the South-eastern part of Nigeria and people are hailing him. In fairness, he isn’t a cause of the security challenges in Igboland but he is worsening and accelerating the problems.
Do you know that the South-eastern part of Nigeria which is known for its vibrant local economy and tipped to be the China of Nigeria is gradually turning into a killing field? According to a report from the Daily Trust, many police officers are seeking redeployment out of the region and also the North-east. They fear being attacked and killed by ‘unknown gunmen’. Tens of policemen have lost their lives in various coordinated attacks on security formations since October last year. In Imo State alone, no fewer than 10 police stations including the police headquarters have been recently attacked.
Can there ever be peace in a place where the security operatives are worse victims than the defenceless civilians?
The regular security breaches have affected the businesses and livelihoods of people in the cities in the South-east. The majority of the major cities have remained deserted out of fear of being caught in a crossfire between the police and the assailants. Security checkpoints have also been deserted thereby allowing criminals to move around undeterred. The security situation has gotten so worse that some policemen in Imo and Abia States now struggle to parade around with their uniforms to avoid sudden death in the hands of suspected IPOB and ESN members accused of killing them.
Due to the large absence of the police, dangerous cultists have been on the prowl. Residents who would normally love to go out, enjoy life while spending money are now on self-imposed curfew. Residents now go to bed as early as 8 pm as major streets are deserted at 6 pm.
The nightlife in Owerri is dead and businesses have been complaining of low patronage. Hotels are losing customers and government buildings are being heavily guarded against attack. Transporters plying Owerri now do business in fear. Travellers are regularly left stranded due to the scarcity of vehicles.
Just last week, a promising first-year student of the Imo State University named Divine Nwaneri was killed alongside two others in front of the Government House in Imo State.
As if the bloodshed isn’t enough, yesterday, the police reportedly intercepted 753 live ammunition of General-Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), concealed in a sac being transported in a commercial vehicle from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to Umuahia in Abia State.
Apart from these baseless attacks, there is a surge in cases of armed robbery in the region.
How does Nnamdi Kanu come in?
Nnamdi Kanu has been planting the seed of hatred in many Igbos against the Nigerian State and he uses any opportunity/crisis to drive home his resentments. He encourages violence and easily sends out messages of threat across the country. The seeds are beginning to manifest fully and we can see the destructive results.
As part of his overbearing antics, Kanu has ordered a total shutdown of the South-east, Abuja, Lagos State and the North on the 30th of May, to celebrate the Igbos killer during the Nigerian civil war. All these calls for trouble. The South-east is beginning to bear the same resemblance with the Northeast riddled by the Boko Haram terrorists and the bandits.
Kanu is doing the Igbos more harm than good. His actions might even lead to another civil war. Very soon, the Southeast will become so restive that it will not be like home to many Igbos again. Then, it will be clear to everybody that Kanu isn’t the hero that they paint him to be.
Please, feel free to disagree with me. It is allowed!