Security agencies were in a frenzy of activities in Abuja from early Sunday when Radio Biafra, the controversial mouthpiece of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) returned to the airwaves with a 6.am to 7.am broadcast announcing the shocking sack of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as IPOB leader.
That announcement sacking Kanu was exactly what kept the security agencies worried, because it could mean that another arm of IPOB may have mutated just as IPOB mutated from Raph Uwazuruike’s Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
A top national security source told THEWILL thus: “All had been quiet on the IPOB front recently. The organization has been receding from the public consciousness as many Igbo people began to openly talk against the separation and disunity agenda of IPOB. The Federal Government has been reaching out to the South-East and their State Governors have taken a hard stand against IPOB accusing the organization of pursuing anti-Igbo interests; now comes this totally new and unexpected development”.
At the height of the IPOB controversy the national unity was greatly tasked when Northern youths issued Igbo people resident in the North a quit notice.
The radio’s programme started with the lady announcer who gave her name as Ifeoma Okorafor, stating that the radio was back on air and IPOB was restructuring. She then announced that “Mazi Nnamdi Nwanekaenyi Kanu, the former Director of Radio Biafra is hereby dismissed and removed as Director of Radio Biafra following extensive and intensive consultations”. She named “Mazi Ezenwachukwu Sampson Okwudili as Kanu’s replacement.”
Kanu has not been seen publicly since he fled Abia State after the military raided his family compound some months back.
The reasons the Radio Biafra announcer gave for Kanu’s removal included:
(A) Personalization of the Biafran struggle and derailing from the core objectives of IPOB as a grassroots movement.
(B) Kanu’s actions and his decisions to incite members of IPOB towards violence leading to the death of many innocent young people in Onitsha, Aba and Umuahia is totally unacceptable and grossly irresponsible.
(C) Kanu privately collected £14m and another $22m to purchase landed properties abroad in his name and that of his father Igwe Israel Kanu in a clear case of monkey dey work baboon dey chop.
(D) Kanu turned our collective struggle into a money-making enterprise for himself and his father. Thus the monies contributed by enterprising and hard-working Igbo youths across the world are being collected and converted by one man and his father while pretending to be sacrificing for the cause.
(E) Upon his release from detention in April 2017, one expected Kanu to drum up support for the release of his colleagues and co-detainees such as Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi. These are our brothers who were arrested at the same time with him and they should not be forgotten. We hereby demand their release. Kanu, since his release, has never spoken about them or appealed for the release of these our freedom fighters. Instead, he has been going about collecting chieftaincy titles and having a messianic swagger that even allowed full-blooded Igbomen to kneel down and kiss his feet.
(F) Kanu threw away the original meaning of our collective struggle for personal gain and vain glorification. IPOB believes in democracy as a solid base of any modern state, the rule of law, and will always reject violence in all its ramifications.
The security agencies do not as yet know what to make of this new development in IPOB.
The sack of Mazi Kanu is only the latest change in the checkered history of Radio Biafra, which began as the mouthpiece of MASSOB. It later announced the sacking of MASSOB founder, Uwazuruike as its Director and MASSOB leader and replaced him with Uchenna Madu “in the task of chasing down and overcoming the enemies of Biafra” according to a statement signed by Uche Mefore as the radio’s Deputy Director.
Nnamdi Kanu himself would also distance himself and his deputy, Uche Mefor, when Radio Biafra began to broadcast from the US, after Nigeria jammed its signals from Britain.
Now, those behind this latest incarnation of Radio Biafra would obviously not have sought Kanu’s permission; it actually sacked him in its first broadcast. But the security agencies are not rejoicing because, as a source put it “the saying that the devil you know is better than the angel you do not know is particularly true in security circles. See it this way; Kanu had issued an order that the people of Anambra state should boycott the gubernatorial elections and people told him he was talking nonsense. That was the end of his moral authority. Now we have to return to the drawing board to learn about those behind this latest development. It’s frustrating.”