- Joe Igbokwe condemned Nnamdi Kanu's Biafra agitation
- He said Ojuwku would not have approved of it
- He noted that hate speech could put the Igbos in the heat of another deadly war
Joe Igbokwe has lashed out at Nnamdi Kanu saying the late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu would have condemned his brand of Biafra which preaches hate speech and encourages violence.
In an interview with The Punch, Igbokwe said although Igbo people have been marginalised, it was necessary to fight a war of sense and not a war of bullet.
He said Ojukeu and Ralph Uwazuruike have done their part in the Biafran struggle but Kanu’s own was not in the best interest of the Igbo people.
He said: “The late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has done his bit, Ralph Nwazurike has done his bit and he is still fighting. Nnamdi Kanu has also joined but his method of agitation is potentially dangerous and frightening. Nnamdi Kanu became popular by abusing other Nigerians – calling Nigeria a zoo, and preaching hate and ethnic bigotry. Hate speech can lead to exchange of hot words, and the next (thing that can happen) is war. Once there is a full-scale war, thousands or millions will die.
"After the loss of the 2015 (presidential) election, which Igbo never thought Jonathan would lose, hell was let loose. The colossal and tragic loss led some Igbo leaders to believe in anybody that will throw as many stones as possible at the All Progressives Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari. I can understand this. They did not play better politics as they put all their eggs in one basket. Kanu became what they needed to fight back.
“Now you must hear this: Kanu is not an Igbo leader and can never be one. He is a kid. The Holy Book says: ‘Woe betides a nation whose leader is a child.’ We have competent, trusted and tested leaders in Igbo land. We have millions who do not believe in the so-called Biafra and when the chips are down, you will hear them loud and clear. Leading a sophisticated and hard-working tribe like the Igbo is not an all-comers affair. It is for the serious-minded; the cerebral; the educated; the cultured; and experienced. We have yet to know Nnamdi Kanu’s pedigree, temperament, antecedents, and education. You cannot put a crown on a clown and expect a king. If a blind man leads a blind man, both of them will fall into a pit. Kanu – with all due respect – cannot lead the Igbo. This I know, all things considered. What we need now is war of sense and not war of bullets.”
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“IPOB in deed and in word has not been making their agitation without violence. Have you ever listened to Radio Biafra? They preach hate, violence and war. I saw a video of Nnamdi Kanu in the United States asking Igbo residing there for money to buy arms to fight other Nigerians. I know what they told him. Hate speech leads to war and war leads to deaths and, therefore, IPOB preaches violence. In the South-East, they extort money from traders after intimidating them. They harass citizens and threaten them with violence. They intimidate them to close their shops. I suspect that they bear arms also. They have talents for mischief. This is potentially dangerous. IPOB is exposing Igbo to another war and this is unacceptable.”
“I do not think Ojukwu would have supported violence through hate speech and abuse of other Nigerians. Ojukwu would have known that there are millions of Igbo residing and doing their business outside Igbo land. Ojukwu would not have thrown his weight behind anybody that will endanger Igbo lives and property across Nigeria. Now, have you asked yourself why the Arewa youths issued the notice to quit to Igbo residing in the North? They did so because nobody has monopoly of violence or hate speech. They did so because prominent Igbo leaders kept quiet while Nnamdi was preaching hate and is still preaching hate to date. They did so to demonstrate that there can be balance of terror and hate.”
Meanwhile, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, stated that Kanu has violated his bail conditions.
According to reports, Dambazau made his comments on Friday August 11 while speaking at a news conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Watch a NAIJ.com TV video below of Kanu speaking about his Biafra agitation