Today marks five days since the release of the abducted Methodist prelate, His Eminence Kanu Samuel Uche. And for Christians who gather to worship across Nigeria, Kanu’s safe return represents a miracle deserving thanksgiving.
Not all thanksgivings, however, translate to mockery like that of the governor of Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu, who failed to secure Samuel Kanu’s safe release. Ikpeazu sought to score cheap credits from Kanu’s misfortune by falsely extolling Nigerian forces for the release of Kanu.
In a post-release press conference in Lagos, a quizzed Kanu was quick to dismiss Ikpeazu’s statements as lies, adding that only his church members, and not a single security personnel, facilitated his release.
Kanu narrated his ordeal to newsmen, stating how he successfully negotiated an N100 million ransom price with his abductors, whom he described as young gun-wielding Fulani herdsmen.
He also accused the military personnel of Northern origin stationed along the Lomara-Lokpanta axis as complicit in the operations of the kidnappers, by offering them extra security support and intelligence. In is words:
“I accuse the soldiers who are Fulanis,” Kanu remarked. “They are part of it because they are shielding these people [kidnappers].”
The Prelate, whose Local Government of origin is situated close to where he was kidnapped, added that “when our people wanted to comb the bush [to fish out the kidnapper’s hideout] the soldiers said: don’t go there! If you move a step, we will finish you.”
Kanu’s revelation, shocking as it may appear, comes as no surprise. Several survivor accounts together with the confession of one of Kanu’s abductors reveal that the Kaduna-Abuja expressway, Port-Harcourt-Owerri road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and many other target interstate highways have gun-wielding Fulani kidnappers disguised as herdsmen, fully operational from the adjourning bushes.
This leaves a question mark on the responsibilities of the Eastern State governors and the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo. towards curbing the looming terrorism and humanitarian crisis in the region. Igbos all over the world must demand decisive steps from Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, whose past actions in the face of such impending calamity liken them to a paper tiger.
Given the declaration of an imminent Fulani invasion of Igbo land as confirmed by Kanu’s abductors, the greater responsibility also lies in the hands of state governors to secure their highways and borders, and resist policies like the open grazing bill which carries a significant roadmap for the full-blown domination of terrorist-loving Fulani’s in Nigeria.
With the release of the prelate and his entourage, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will also have to do more than merely disassociate its name from such ugly occurrences within the South-East. The struggle for the freedom of eastern Nigeria also comes with the duty of safeguarding her territories and confronting lurking invaders.
In his parting speech, Kanu spared no horses to address the Buhari-led government as a failure for failing to guarantee safety as a basic responsibility for Nigerians. Kanu was quoted as saying, “[the] government should sit up. The primary purpose of any government is to secure life and property. Any government that has failed in that has failed woefully.”