Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere, has advised Igbo leaders not to antagonize Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In 2017, the IPOB leader violated the bail conditions imposed by Justice Binta Nyako, before whom he was on trial.
In June 2021, he was arrested again in Kenya and returned to Nigeria to face his trial.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since his extradition (DSS).
On Monday, January 17, the federal government filed a new 15-count terrorism charge against him, increasing the counts in the initial charge bordering on treasonable felony from seven to fifteen.
M. B. Abubakar, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), signed the 15-count amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015.
Kanu, according to Adebanjo, committed no crime and warned Ndigbo against alienating him.
“I told Igbo leaders not to antagonize IPOB,” he said.
Despite the fact that Pa Adebanjo has never met Kanu, he believes the embattled IPOB leader will be the Igbo saviour.
“I’ve never met Nnamdi Kanu, but I advise you not to oppose him because he will be your (Igbo) saviour.”
Adebanjo, a protégé of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, explained his position by saying, “But for Nnamdi Kanu, but for Sunday Igboho, restructuring will not be on the front burner of discussions in the country today.” They both brought the issue to the forefront.”
The 93-year-old Yoruba leader regrets that just as the issue of restructuring was gaining traction, the bait of who would be president was thrown to Ndigbo, and an otherwise proud, intelligent people with all their education are allowing those he claims have only primary school education to dribble them.
Adebanjo stated that Ndigbo are unaware of the asset they have in IPOB.
“It is significant if IPOB can mobilize the people and say don’t go out, and despite the governors’ position, no one goes out.”
Adebanjo, who insisted on mobilization because he does not trust the Fulani, said he is giving the same advice to the Yoruba.
“I don’t put my trust in any Fulani man.” And, as I told Governor Akeredolu, passing a resolution is fine, but first rally your people; no restructuring, no election.
“Go mobilize.” That is where you will find your weapon. Because the Fulani are all over the country, don’t fight them with violence. They are in both your and my villages. And they’re all armed. They will run you over.
“But there is one weapon with which we can easily defeat them, and that is civil disobedience.”
“Let Buhari run if we don’t participate in this election.” Some say it’s difficult, but I’m glad they’re saying it’s difficult rather than impossible. If you can’t fight a difficult battle, then go and become a slave.”
Pa Adebanjo stated that Igbo leaders should not beg President Muhammadu Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu.
“When they did that, I thought to myself, oh my God. I was embarrassed. And imagine Mbazulike Amechi leading that delegation. Amechi was with us in the trenches when we were fighting the colonialists. He was in charge of the NCNC youth group. We were part of the Action Group.
“Ndigbo then went to beg Buhari, a Fulani reactionary, to release your people.” What have your people accomplished?
“All we need to do now is mobilize our people.” Buhari wields absolute power. He has an army, but we have people. We do not want the Constitution of 1999. We must make a change. Then we’ll know exactly where we’re going.
“Just as some people tell me that Igboho is for secession while you are not. I tell them that while I am not in favor of secession, I am not opposed to it either.
“If we have a federal constitution, I don’t believe people should secede.” But if we don’t, well, Israel, to your tents.
“We will be in Nigeria on the basis of equality on agreed-upon terms, with no section ruling over another.” That is what will compensate us. That is our wish. But it will not happen in a Nigeria with the unity of the horse and the rider, where I will be the horse and some people will be the riders. “This is where I am.”
Mazi Akachukwu Udoka Obinwannem News writer, 06/02/2022