It is true that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, was illegally abducted back to Nigeria. It is also true that he was severely tortured in a very dehumanizing manner. IPOB, the organization he leads, should be irked. Infact, IPOB is right to be very annoyed with the whole saga. It is also relatively factual that Nnamdi Kanu is working for the general betterment of Ndigbo in Nigeria. But, does IPOB have the right to issue out threats to Ndigbo that are not willing to abide by their sit-at-home order?
The news of IPOB’s sit-at-home order for every Mondays, starting from tomorrow August 9th, has been circulating like wildfire across Nigeria, but mostly in South East region. The sit at home order, has also been generating heated reactions from all corners, both within, and outside South East region.
According to IPOB, the intention is to force Federal Government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention.
Their reason is very germane for them, their sympathizers and all objective and analytical Igbo sons and daughters. Nnamdi Kanu is being held illegally, and for no justifiable reason, hence, there ought to be a serious agitation for his immediate release, especially from his kinsmen – Ndigbo.
Furthermore, his continuous illegal detention is a spite on the collective Pride of Ndigbo all over. His campaigns, for which he was illegally arrested and being prosecuted, is deeply anchored on the principles of trying to get a better deal for Ndigbo in Nigeria. Hence, the fight to secure his immediate release, should be the prerogative of all Igbos.
However, freedom of expression, association and conscience, is an innate and inalienable attributes that’s basic to all rational humans, hence the room for dissent. IPOB needs to recalibrate and realign their modus operandi in agreement with the inherent freedom of expression, conscience and association in every human person/society. Every Igbo person must not key in to their demands. Furthermore, they lack both the Moral and Constitutional rights to insist on rolling out Fiats.
If by today, and any other days they would want to shutdown South East, but some Igbo persons decide to do otherwise, it would amount to egregious abuse of privileges for them to attempt any coercive methods. People should be allowed to freely follow their minds and conscience, at least within the confines of Nigeria’s extant laws.
IPOB is totally wrong to threaten anyone that wants to do otherwise; so also some of the South East Governors that are childishly threatening to punish those that will choose not to come out. There must be room for everyone to willingly choose what to do in this situation.
IPOB needs not forget that in the eyes of Nigerian Laws, their outfit is outlawed. That they have been talking tough in South East is because the vast majority of the people sympathizes and in some cases, actively endorse their core philosophy, if not for the massive goodwill disposition of the people, IPOB would have been forgotten long time ago. Let them not engage in reckless activities that might affect the public perception of their organization in South East.
It is in the best interest of everyone, particularly IPOB itself, to quickly withdraw the threats attached to their proposed sit at home tomorrow and other days. Instead of issuing out threats, let them be adopting more of persuasive arguments in pursuit of their agenda. IPOB needs to be extremely careful; they should be threading with utmost caution!
Arc Ifeanyi Obute writes from Enugu. He’s a public affairs analyst.