Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest, should Britain intervene or…? By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet.
The dynamics of the power of language in diplomatic and coercive arenas of power have remained the syrup to sell and propagate interests. Pointedly, the artful interplay of language can make a world of difference as to whether the road to war or the highway to peace will be chosen! Even in families and across all religions and political persuasions, the deployment of language, action verbs and adjectives have either caused considerable expense to relationships or elevated ordinary and regular folks to new heights of camaraderie!
Essentially, therefore, language and meaning are at the epicenter of what is generally known by those of us who are trained in political science as “the games nations play.“
Nigeria’s Attorney General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN) announced at a news conference that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu was “brought back” (not arrested) by the Nigerian government on Sunday June 27, 2021. Malami, an influential insider within the presidency of retired General Muhammadu Buhari as well as the Abuja federal court presided by Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, had repeatedly said that Kanu violated the terms of the bail granted him in 2017. Malami said Kanu was “intercepted through the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian intelligence and security services.” Malami did not indicate where Kanu was “intercepted” and which countries and services/agencies were involved in “the collaborative efforts.”
Generally, interception happens in sports such as soccer, football and basketball. So, that’s how the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu became artfully and carefully characterized as an interception!
On the other side of the issue and definition of the events, I received a statement from the U.S-headquartered World Igbo Congress (WIC) on what it described as “the abduction and arraignment of Nnamdi Kanu in Nigeria and that court hearing is scheduled for July 26, 2021. It has also been confirmed to us that Nnamdi Kanu, a British citizen, was abducted in a country other than the United Kingdom to which he travelled on British passport. Consequently, this raises the specter of illegal abduction and international gangsterism which violate the process of extradition.”
I believe that on July 26 and 27, 2021, among the core questions that will be asked in the court room presided by Justice Nyako will be whether the Nigerian government merely “intercepted” Nnamdi Kanu or “abducted” Nnamdi Kanu? What will be the Court’s interests regarding the bail terms and conditions previously given to Nnamdi Kanu? Well, will the Court discuss whether the crux of the matter is did Nnamdi Kanu “jump bail” or did he run away for his personal and family safety?
I recall that in May 2017 on USAfricaonline.com, I mentioned “the non-dramatic fluency with which they sorted and settled — within 30 hours– the harsh reality of the mountain high jump, stringent and extremely difficult to meet conditions ordered on April 25, 2017 as required bail terms for the temporary release of the leader of the IPOB, by the Federal High Court Justice Nyako, a wife of a former top military officer and governor, showed the credibility and clout of IPOB . She required Kanu to provide three sureties; one of whom must be a serving Senator in Nigeria, a Jewish religious leader and highly respected person, who own land anywhere in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The bail bond was set at N100 million, for each surety. Kanu was also ordered not to grant any interviews to the media/press, pending the outcome of his trial and should not be seen in a meeting/gathering of more than 10 persons.”
Meanwhile, the World Igbo Congress has already called on “the British government to stand up and defend the right of her citizen. The UK government needs to investigate the collusion of any other country or party in this saga. The government of the US, the UN and the international community to take note of the ongoing abuse of human rights in Nigeria including this matter of abduction of Nnamdi Kanu.”
Finally, let me ask two simple questions: If as Nnamdi Kanu proclaims himself to be a British citizen, what will Britain say or do in this complex situation? Should Britain intervene or will they give Nnamdi Kanu the middle finger? *Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the forthcoming 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247