Mr Emmanuel Kanu is the brother of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
In this interview, he revealed that some politicians do not want agitation by IPOB to stop because they’re benefitting from it.
He equally accused the Southeast governors of not being sincere about the activities of Nnamdi Kanu and his group in the region.
While denying his brother is the cause of insecurity in the Southeast geo-political zone as alleged by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, he among other issues, proffered dialogue as solution to the present problem. Excerpts:
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Recently, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami accused the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu of being responsible for the insecurity in the Southeast. Could this be true?
Nnamdi Kanu is not the problem we have in the Southeast, rather, youth unemployment, marginalization of the Southeast and nepotism, these are the problems Nigeria presently has. Nnamdi Kanu has said it time and again that he does not give life and will not take it. So, if the people of the Southeast have received any atom of justice, equity and fairness, do you think there will be any reason for unrest in the Southeast? The answer is no. So, what Malami should blame as the problem in the Southeast, is the Constitution of this country. The Constitution is one sided and people have waited for so long for the Constitution to be changed without success, so, they have turned themselves into symbol of change. They should look at people’s agitation, know why they are agitating, if they should understand that, then the problem will be solved. So, the problem is not Nnamdi Kanu.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice specifically accused the IPOB leader of giving directives to ESN to kill security agents in the region. How true is this?
ESN is created to defend our farmlands against bandits and terrorists. ESN was not designed to attack anyone, their job is more of that of a vigilante. You and I are aware that so many people have been killed in the course of defending their farmlands. Since the creation of ESN, we no longer hear such ugly news and that was why ESN was created and not to attack anybody. And, the instruction is clear, don’t attack anybody.
Are you worried that instead of Malami focusing attention in the North where insecurity is even worst, he is talking about Nnamdi Kanu and the Southeast?
I’m extremely surprised, I was thinking that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Malami should have focused more on what is happening up in the North, between the Kanuris, the Gwaris and the Fulanis. Few days ago, we heard that the Boko Haram bombed the rail lines. A market in Sokoto was equally attacked and over 30 people killed, and there are so many incidents of such magnitude in the North to the extent that the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufia has asked the Federal Government to designate bandits as terrorists. And they don’t make headlines, to Malami, they don’t mean anything, they are nothing. Let me advise Malami, he should first of all remove what is in his own eyes before removing that of others. He understands the problems of the country too well and he should deal with those problems, not Nnamdi Kanu. Nnamdi Kanu is not the issue, the issue is about marginalization, nepotism and the killings of our youths. And the issue remains that those you have killed their children will not fold there hands, it could be a direct revenge from them, yet they are blaming ESN, they should not do that because what goes around, comes around. This is the right time like I have always said, to sit down and deal with this problem once and for all. Everybody is hiding under Nnamdi Kanu and ESN to unleash mayhem. But if they can sit down with Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB and get these things ironed out once and for all, so that whoever that is causing these problems, we will be bold enough to pinpoint that person and have to arrest that person as well. But when they allow all these things untouched, they keep allowing problems here and there.
What’s your take on the proposed one-week sit-at-home order by IPOB?
The proposed one-week sit-at-home order by IPOB headed by Mazi Chika Edoziem (the head of DOS) as it stands now, he made it clear that if you do not release Nnamdi Kanu from now to November 4, then the sit-at-home will commence for one week. They could have chosen to carry arms, but the answer is that we believe that civil disobedience is the best, it’s a far potent weapon than arms, so, that is why they have maintained that position. So, the thing is that, release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and dialogue with him. I keep on saying it, what they are doing is mere waste of resources. Everyday you come to the court, security agents, the court staff, all of us will come to the court at the end we go back to our various homes. There is no need for that. The truth remains that a lot of people, a lot of politicians are befitting from what is happening, they want it to continue; they are telling the president, don’t dialogue with IPOB, don’t dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu, that they are in charge, while they are not in charge. It is clear to everybody that the governors of the Southeast are not in charge, the person that is in charge is Nnamdi Kanu. I know a lot of things are going to unfold, but let the government arrest the situation once and for all and that should be done through dialogue.
Sit-at-home is a potent weapon as you said, is IPOB taking cognizance of its bandwagon effect on the people?
That was why I said what I said earlier that I pray government will arrest the situation once and for all. Let them arrest this once and for all. And again, the Southeast governors are not being truthful, I put this to them, they are not being truthful. In 2017, there was a dialogue between Nnamdi Kanu and the Southeast governors and from my little findings, or should I say from my extensive findings, I can categorically tell you that the Presidency is not aware of that particular discussion that was held with Nnamdi Kanu. If the Southeast governors were truthful and told the Presidency what is happening in the Southeast, I believe they will arrest the situation. But because when they go to Abuja, the governors will tell them they’re in charge, nothing is happening, they will destroy the boys, they are divided, give us money, we will do this, we will do that, they are not saying the truth. Nnamdi Kanu is the arrow head, he is the leader, go to the leader and solve this problem. If you want to solve the problem, go to the leader and everything will be over. It is clear to all that someone is in charge of this people and who is that person? The answer is Nnamdi Kanu and anyone telling you otherwise, forget it. Having said that, I will also have to commend some politicians who are making reasonable efforts to get Nnamdi Kanu out from detention and individuals too. I also commend journalists in this country, they are doing wonderful job, they also believe in equity and justice. They want to see things happen transperantly, they know the truth, they want to know what Nnamdi Kanu has done and that was why they were so angry on Thursday when he appeared in court, though they were denied access into the court, but they remained resolute and I commend them for that.
When you saw your brother in court, how did you feel?
I was happy to see him as a brother, like I have always said, I would want him to have his doctors examine him. The Federal Government should allow us bring his personal physicians to check him and if possible examine him and see what he’s passing through, it is very, very important. I’m saying this because if anything happens to him where he is, God help us.
When you talk about dialogue, in what shape do you think this will take?
Nnamdi Kanu is the arrowhead of all this, I am not going to speak on his behalf. When they sit him down, they will look at the issues he has raised, I know they are germaine, look at those issues and treat them, that’s all.
I ask the question because some leaders of the country said the issue of oneness of the nation was settled 51 years ago. Could this be true?
Whatever anybody said, one thing you and I know is that what has remained constant in the face of this earth is change; and change can take place any time, any day. Change could come as a result of the wish of the people and nobody can stop that.