In Nigeria today, it can be correctly said that the only opposition the ruling class has is the Pro Biafran group, Indigneous People Of Biafra (IPOB) led by the revolutionary, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Nigeria has proven to be a country where corruption thrives and there is little or no economic progress from year to year. In addition to this, there is a political structure which favours some ethnic group over some and leads to marginalization. For example, certain regions like the South Eastern Nigeria which is home to most of the Igbos, has been marginalized to the extent that in the whole of the region, there is no major infrastructure. And since the war which ended in 1970s, the Igbo people have been continually treated like second class citizens.
It was in lieu of this that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu started his Pro Biafran movement, IPOB in the early 2010s. The movement was initially regarded by many as a joke and did not gain much attention during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan. However, with the coming of Buhari into power and the clarity of his intention to have his revenge on Ndigbos who did not vote for him during the elections, more and more people began to listen to the young revolutionary who made his broadcasts in London. And not long after, he was reported to have come to Nigeria and there, he was arrested and persecuted for being a freedom fighter. And ever since, his movement has grown from strength to strength as he has gathered more and more sympathizers.
The IPOB is so much threat to Nigeria’s current political structure and those it favours that the mention of the group causes more unrest than the mention of terrorist groups like Boko Haram and The Fulani Herdsmen. In his own words, the leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu had said, “we intends to destroy the country with the weapon of truth which is more effective than mortars and bullets. It is either Biafra or death. And by this, I mean I shall only stop fighting for Biafra, the day I die.”
The IPOB unlike terrorist groups like the Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram have a very clear motive. They are seeking a total break away from Nigeria and its political structure, and to exist and independent Igbo state where they can develop at their own pace and no longer be marginalized. And so far, they have been doing this through a series of peaceful protests, civil disobedience and creation of awareness through media and personal contacts. The movement is growing each day and the leader of the group currently lives in Israel where he is gradually gaining the support of the British government.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Biafra is gradually becoming a fire threatening to bring down Nigeria.