The Bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Onitsha Diocese, Rt Rev. Biereonwu Livinus Onuagha, on Wednesday July 7, said as long as Northerners are still standing with Isa Pantami (Minister of Communications and Digital Economy), Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, Miyetti Allah and others, he will stand with the IPOB leader.
Reacall that the Nigerian government had two weeks ago announced Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest and extradition to Nigeria to continue facing trial.
In a swift reaction, the Bishop, on Wednesday July 7, said the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, might have exhibited youthful exuberance, but that he is representing 99.9 percent of the Igbo and the entity called Biafra.
Nnamdi Kanu who was subsequently arraigned with a blindfold before Binta Nyako, a Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja was also handcuffed.
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the court in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
He was granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but skipped bail after an attack by the military on the South-East and his home.
Bishop Onuagha in a press release said Kanu is an asset not only to the Igbo but to entire Southern Nigeria, adding that any Igbo person openly criticising him now he is embattled, a lost soul, a bastard and a naive person.
He said he had no apology for using such words.
He described Joe Igbokwe, aide to Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as selfish.
The cleric added that handcuffs on the hands of Kanu is handcuffs on the hands of every Igbo, saying that in a country dominated by ethno-religious identity politics, anyone throwing his own under the bus is making the biggest blunder one could commit.
He said as long as Northerners are still standing with Pantami, Gumi, Miyetti Allah and others, he will stand with the Nnamdi Kanu unapologetically.
Pantami, also a renowned Muslim cleric, had expressed views sympathetic to groups such as al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.
In one sermon from the 2000s he said he considered al-Qaeda founder, Osama Bin Laden, a better Muslim than himself, and in another, he said he was happy when infidels were massacred.
why is Joe Igbokwe thanking God for the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu? If I take a look at the apartheid policy in South Africa, the legend of our time- Daddy Nelson Mandela, he spent 27 years in prison to emancipate his people.
Joe Igbokwe is only being selfish. How many of his investments are in Onitsha, Enugu, Awka, Abakaliki, Umuahia and Owerri? He is only making himself as a Tobias or Samballat.
“I listened to Senator Victor Umeh talk about the ideology of Nnamdi Kanu where he said Kanu may have spoken like a young man he is but there is truth in all he is saying. Can somebody tell me why Nigeria is insisting that Biafra should not be self-governed? Is the Igbo man in the second agenda of this government?
“In a country dominated by ethno-religious identity politics, throwing your own under the bus is the biggest blunder anyone could commit. As long as the Northerners are still standing with Pantami, Gumi, Miyetti Allah, etc., I will stand with Nnamdi Kanu. Nnamdi Kanu may have his youthful exuberance but he is representing 99.9% of the Igbo and the entity called Biafra. This is no time to openly talk about his mistakes.
“Like every human being, he is not infallible. He has his Achilles’ heel and its attendant hubris. Even with his mistakes, Nnamdi Kanu is an asset not only to Ndigbo but to Southern Nigeria as a whole. His courage has earned my respect. He is the catalyst providing oxygen to all the agitations in the South today, be it Biafra or Oduduwa. The question is, the injustice and oppression that Kanu is fighting, are they real or imagined? Of course, even the blind can see them.
“You may not know the value of a mad man in your family until herds of other madmen invade your ancestral home. Nigeria is not working and can never work until something drastic is done about its lopsided structure. What is happening in Nigeria is total injustice, calculated intimidation, sidelining and enslaving a group of people. Make no mistake, those that are benefitting from the systematic injustice will never allow the current system to be tampered with.”
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