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Kidnap of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as Interlude in Quest for Restructuring, By Abuchi Obiora

Before anybody develops goose pimples, I wish to start this discussion with several definitions of the word ‘kidnap’ to prove the incontestable fact that its usage in this discourse actually fits in very well in the context hereunder applied.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (Special Price Edition), defines the word ‘kidnap’ a transitive verb, as “to take something away by force”, while the pocket size ‘New Gem Dictionary of the English Language, London and Glasgow, defines ‘kidnap’ as “steal (child), abduct (person) (-napped,-naped), napping, naping…” (You may substitute ‘adult-nap’ for ‘steal adult’.

Another pocket-size dictionary, a newer edition with the tacit approval of English traditionalists and issued by etymologists and lexicographers to bring to use and incorporate as words in the English lexicon, ideas usually expressed in English customs and culture (which also capture subsisting innuendoes and nuances of the English people) the Collins Gem Dictionary defines ‘kidnap’ as ‘seize’ and hold to ransom”, while the offline advanced English dictionary says that ‘kidnap’ is to “take away to an undisclosed location against their will and usually in order to extract a ransom”.

WIKIPEDIA further says that “in criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful transportation, asportation, and confinement of a person against their will while Google says that ‘kidnap is to abduct (someone) and hold them captive, typically to obtain ransom.

Whether for extracting ransom, for safe-custody (as may be claimed by some constituted authorities who indulge in this unwholesome exercise against the will and consent of their victims) or for any other reasons whatsoever, it is important to understand that in all ‘kidnap’ cases, there are constant elements of obstruction of the victims schedules, his forceful evacuation to a destination without his knowledge and his unauthorized and extra-judicial incarceration.

Having explained out myself with my modest knowledge of English language, if anybody including the government and its agents and agencies still develop goose principles, feeling that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was not kidnapped, let me quickly re-submit that he was ‘adult-napped’ as also revealed by our inquiry into the true dictionary meaning of the word, ‘kidnap’.

Think about it, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is after all, not a ‘kid’. The most important thing revealed in our definitions is that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was ‘napped’ forcibly without his consent and approval, diverted from his itinerary in Kenya, in a weird arrangement, we were told, had the active connivance of the Kenyan authorities, the Interpol and the Nigerian Mission in Kenya.

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was later airfreighted to Nigeria to face the treasonable felony offence (from which he had previously jumped bail), though not in the Umaru Dikko style of human ‘diplomatic baggage’ in Britain, which took place under the military dictatorship of a former Nigerian Military General, who, not coincidentally, is the Nigerian executive President of a democratic government in 2021 when the Kenya abduction took place.

I well understand that the comatose NPC and NBC (media) Act Amendment Bill in the National Assembly which aims at muzzling the voice of Nigerians and gagging the press, introduced by people afraid to hear the truth, will not find me friendly on this discourse, and it may possibly want to indict me for my choice of the word ‘kidnap’ but I must challenge the authors of and sympathies to the Bill to look up the word ‘kidnap’ in their dictionaries to educate themselves better (as I have just been educated by the dictionaries) in English language in respect of the true meaning of the word ‘kidnap’.

If Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who government has branded a criminal without trial and due process of law, whose Biafra self-rule agitator-organization, the IPOB has been proscribed and declared a terrorist organization in spite of proofs to the contrary, (and an overwhelming evidence of existence of more dangerous organizations operating in the country having not been declared terrorist organizations) has illegally absconded by jumping bail, the government should not have involved itself in a more dastard illegality, jungle and terrorist style of arbitrary kidnap.

The government in this illegality, by not applying for a formal extradition of the suspect, demeans both Kenya, Nigeria and the personalities at the helms of government affairs. The abduction in Kenya easily presents the aforementioned entities, in the view of the international community, as exhibiting the veritable trademark of terrorists which is forceful abduction.

If the government should argue that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu illegally jumped bail and should be illegally apprehended, I will insist that two wrongs do not make a right. Neither does one crime or illegality justify another crime or illegality. The government had an unlimited civic option to apply for extradition of the suspect, courtesy of the extradition treaty it may have signed previously with the country where the suspect was apprehended.  

Another word used in this discourse which is also key to the understanding of the message carried herein is the word ‘interlude’. The Advanced Leaners Dictionary (Special Price Edition), defines ‘interlude’ as:

  1. A short period of time separating the parts of a play
  2. A period of time coming between two events or between two stages of something, e.g., a brief interlude of peace between two wars.

In this discourse, we shall opt for the second definition of the word. Though the Attorney General of the Federation who was said to have played a major role in the re-arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the federal government authorities may feel highly elated in what they would consider a milestone in taming the asymmetric security challenges bedeviling the country, my understanding is that it is still too early to congratulate themselves. It is not yet ‘over’ for the security impediments of the country.

This is because the re-arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu may not achieve the much desired result expected by those who planned and executed it, if the opportunity and the interlude created by the re-arrest and incarceration is not wisely utilized by the federal government. The government should use the interlude and the opportunity created by the re-arrest of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the relative peace brought by it to restructure Nigeria, otherwise, the relative peace of the graveyard which presently reigns in the regions of Nigeria seeking self-rule may rebound into an incontrollable conflagration, the type of which has never been witnessed in an African country. The government must understand now that Nigerians of all ethnic neutralities other than the Fulani reside in subdued anger as they view the re-arrested Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as a symbol and pacesetter, being a trail blazer for what all of them are warming up and preparing to do.

By the way, let nobody play any pranks; it would be most unusual for a treasonable felony offence with a capital offence – death by hanging – attached to it, to be summarily dealt with between June 2021 and May 2023, a period less than two years when the incumbent government, perceived by many Nigerians to be both versed in nepotism, being also undemocratic, will be handing over the baton of power to its successor. Reason for this line of thought is the tight schedule of Nigerian court known to be inundated with pending cases, some of the cases having hanged on for many years in the superior appellate court where Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is expected to seek for relief if found guilty of the offence for which he is charged in the lower courts.

In this wise, Nigerians expect a protracted legal case and not the hushed type of trial by a Nigerian military dictatorship that skipped due process, found guilty and hanged Ken Saro Wiwa, whose remains was visited with the additional wickedness of being melted with acid by a known agent of that military junta who was sent in to Port-Harcourt from Abuja to achieve that purpose – a former dreaded major in the Nigerian military who is mischievously viewed in some quarters today as a hero.

Finally, it is my opinion (which I hold an inalienable right to), that by the covert intelligence operation of the government of Nigeria in Kenya, an operation the cost of which to Nigeria must be enormous, the Nigerian government set a record in international law by impounding a British citizen to the country. By this covert intelligence operation, the Nigerian government picked up a man, a former Nigerian, who had openly renounced his Nigerian citizenship a country which he had consistently referred to as a word I will not mention here, where animals live.  

Not being a lawyer, my layman’s opinion (which I still insist I hold an inalienable right to) is that the treasonable felony case for which Mazi Nnamdi Kanu an avowed British citizen is undergoing trial in Nigeria is arguable, but this opinion will constitute one out of the many knotty issues the learned gentlemen and ladies of the law will be sorting out as the nitty gritty of what is expected to be an unprecedented legal battle unfolds.

Secondly, the British government based on the foreign policies of the Home Affairs Department, may exact an overriding influence on a matter that pertains to the sanctity of life of a man who must prove himself to be a British citizen to enjoy all the rights and privileges that pertain to that citizenship which he claims.

One of the options available to the British Government in this matter, through which it may decide to exact an influence may be in a formal request to the Nigerian government to repatriate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to Britain for trial, if he gives overwhelming evidence to his British citizenship, for meddling in the internal affairs of another country. Whichever way it goes, we shall watch the events unfold.

One thing is certain, the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is sure to be one of the most celebrated cases in the history of Nigeria. With that trial, a new history will be made for Nigeria, because not only Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will be on trial within the period that he will be standing in the suspect dock, facing charges, the Igbo ethnic nationality of Nigeria will be standing trial the second time following after the civil war, with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Take it or leave it the outcome of that trial will determine the reactions of the other oppressed and suppressed ethnic nationality in Nigeria with it, the future of the country presently called Nigeria.

A school of Igbo thought, the ‘Kanuists’ believe that the people’s hero willingly gave up himself to quicken the liberation of the Igbos. If this be so, I salute the courage of the young man, evidently the next hero of the Igbo nation following after Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, for his courage. The Kaleidoscope believes that whatever may happen should happen now so that Nigerians will have their freedom from their slave masters.  It is best to beat the iron to perfect shape while it is still red hot. It is best to shape up Nigeria now that all the ethnic nationalities have been commonly sensitized to say no to the oppressive and repressive tendencies of the immigrant minority hegemonic rulers in Nigeria. If it becomes difficult to use the opportunity of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s incarceration to restructure Nigeria, both the Igbos and the other ethnic nationalities like the Yoruba’s who seek for self-rule, should be allowed to go. As this happens, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be release and allowed to go as the hero of the new Nigeria that he has become.

I am not seeing the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu being concluded before the general elections of 2023. Nigerians may be witnessing long adjournments during the trial. The permutation by the powers that be will be to this an Igbo presidency in 2023 to whittle down the powers and influence of Kanu on the Igbos, and with it maintain the status quo which has thrown up Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as the bona-fide leader of the Igbo ethnic nationality.

And lastly as a word of advice, the Nigerian government should look beyond silencing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the Biafran self-rule agitators, and use the opportunity presented by the momentary capping of the activities of the IPOB     to hearken to the voices of Nigerians and restructure the country to reflect fair play, justice and equity amongst all the federating units of the country. This period may actually be the last peaceful chance the Nigerian minority hegemonic ethnic nationality may have to listen to the wishes and aspirations of the people.

A word is enough for the wise!


For: Global Upfront Newspapers


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