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The Heart and Soul OF Nnamdi Kanu – Femi Fani-Kayode

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Fani-Kayode
  • The Heart and Soul OF Nnamdi Kanu

In my essay titled “Head Bloodied But Not Bowed And The Ascension Of President-Elect Donald J. Trump” (Part 1) I wrote the following:

“When I went to visit the great and brilliant freedom fighter, Nnamdi Kanu, who is the leader of IPOB and easily the most courageous, powerful and credible Igbo leader in Nigeria today in his cell we had a very instructive and long discussion.

I had never met Nnamdi before and I was amazed at his depth of knowledge, his immense courage and his deep convictions.

There is no doubt in my mind that that man is going places and in him the Igbo have an Ojukwu and a Nnamdi Azikiwe all rolled into one. He is destined for greatness”.

Apparantly my words have created quite a stir amongst those who believe that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu cannot be mentioned in the same breath as Azikiwe or Ojukwu, both of whom, in my view, are also great men.

Yet despite their reservations I believe that we must give honor to whom it is due. Consequently I have no regrets for what I have said.

Those that are upset at the fact that I spoke highly of the IPOB leader are misguided and, worst still, they lack vision, foresight and insight.

They not only lack the ability to perceive individuals and events accurately but they also lack the gift of discermment. They may see the man but they cannot assess or recognise the spirit that is in him and that motivates him.

Worse of all they are suffering from good old fashioned envy and they have been afflicted with the worst form of ignorance.

Most of them have never even met Kanu let alone know him. I sat next to him for three solid hours in the most challenging and difficult circumstances.

We discussed our respective views about Nigeria, our collective history, the suffering and marginalisation of our respective people, the Nigerian civil war, the reptilian and violent nature of the Nigerian state, the present dispensation, the Buhari government and the way forward.

I have associated with, met and worked with many men of influence and power since I entered the combustible fray of politics thirty years ago but this one was different.

This was a man that had what I would describe as a Mahatma Ghandi-like quality. That is to say he is one that is prepared to sacrifice everything and anything for his beliefs, his people and his cause.

Like the great Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace I have no doubt that if he deemed it necessary he would go as far as to sacrifice his very life in the struggle for freedom and independence for his Igbo people from the Nigerian state and from our internal colonial masters and for the establishment of his beloved Biafra.

Not all may agree with him on that course but they must respect his determination, passion and courage.

Very few Nigerian leaders have that level of selflessness and commitment to any cause and, simply put, I admire it.

I looked deeply into his eyes as we spoke and I touched and weighed his soul.

I can tell you, without any fear of contradiction, that he is a profoundly good man who loves his Igbo people deeply.

He is also well-educated and widely-read and he is a formidable intellectual.

We may not have agreed on everything but I can tell you this much: we share an aversion to the spread of radical Islam and terror in Nigeria and indeed throughout the world.

We also share deep concerns about the oppression of our people by the state, the vicious persecution and desperate attempt to silence all the voices of the opposition in our country, the marginalisation and suppression of the good people and ethnic nationalities of the south and the Middle Belt, the implementation of a plainly racist and apartheid-like agenda by our government, the regular and consistent practice of genocide by our security forces, the rise in power and increasing callousness and brutality of the Fulani miltias and herdsmen in our midst, the not so hidden agenda to Islamise our nation and violate the secularity of our state, the violation of court orders, the brazen intimidation of the Judiciary and the resort to the most barbarous and hideous form of gestapo tactics, tyranny and human rights abuses by the Buhari administration.

I can also tell you that he feels and shares the pain of the Igbo and he yearns for their liberation and emanciption from an increasingly hostile and oppressive Nigerian state.

He is not a politician in the true sense of the word but rather a freedom fighter and a charissmatic leader who has managed to inspire millions of Igbo youth all over the world to once again have faith in themselves and their collective cause and aspirations. In my view that is a good thing.

I can also tell you this: he is a man of great faith and conviction and his rise to prominence is not ordinary but instead prophetic.

He cannot be destroyed or silenced by any government or man born of woman because the Lord is with him and He is using him. He is using him to say and do the things that many believe but that are too scared to say or do.

Other leaders have had their time in the past and now this is his. He is paying a very heavy price right now for what God will use him for in the future.

I recognise that fact and I sincerely hope and pray that his Igbo people will come to appreciate him and do so as well.

Very few leaders can or would be willing to take the pain and make the kind of sacrifice that this man is making today.

I am a very cautious and circumspect person and it takes me a while to warm to people or for them to win my confidence. Yet this case was different.

Nnamdi and I, rather like Che Guevera and Fidel Castro at the beginning of the Cuban revolution, connected immediately and he won my trust, respect and admiration.

If there is anyone that can truly build the much needed bridge between the south-west, the south-south and the south-east it is Nnamdi Kanu.

This is because he is pragmatic and sincere. It is because he is respectful and accomodating of alternative points of view and dissenting opinions and he speaks from a position of knowledge and strength. It ibecause he is very proud of his Igbo heritage and he would never betray his people or prostitute his principles.

The truth is that he is not just a combination of Owelle Nnamdi Azikwe and Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu: he is a combination of Azikwe, Ojukwu AND Major Kaduna Nzeogwu all rolled into one.

The fire of revolution and the yearning for fundamental and equitable change burns in his blood and resides in his bones.

He has spoken up for, defended and fought for the preservation and dignity of his people just as those other three leaders did in the past at different times in our history.

He also serves as a rallying point for Igbo nationalism, the fight for self-determination of the people of the east and the establishment of the sovereign state of Biafra.

His love, remarkable courage and sheer passion for his people and their cause is boundless and unfathomable.

The Igbo is blessed to have him as one of the most respected and reverred leaders in our entire history as a nation.

They would do well to appreciate him more, pray for him, stand up for him, line up behind him and insist that the government honors the numerous court orders that have granted him bail and release him from prison.

Why? Because he bleeds and suffers for their collective cause and he is sacrificing all to remove their shame and lift their pain.

What a man he is. What a mighty spirit. What a beautiful soul. What a braveheart.

Permit me to conclude this contribution with the following observations.

All over the world today the concept of political correctness has been discredited and rejected. Consequently right-wing nationalist and ultra-nationalist groups and political parties are rising up and regaining credibility and power.

In the United Kingdom we have the Nick Farage’s of this world and his UKIP whose magnificent efforts resulted in Brexit. In France we have the Marie Le Pen’s and her National Front. In Hungary we have the Viktor Orban’s and his Fidesz party.

In the United States of America we have the Donald Trump’s and his new and redefined Republican party.

We also have plain-speaking and honest men like Michael Flynn, who has just been appointed as Trump’s National Security Advisor.

Political parties with a similar ideology and that are led by equally strong-willed, focused and charissmatic figures are also making great waves and slowly gaining more power and relevance in Italy, Germany, Austria, Holland, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Russia, the Phillipines, Israel and indeed all over the world.

Thankfully Nigeria has not been left out. We have men like Nnamdi Kanu in the east, Ganiyu Adams in the west, Asari Dokubo in the Niger Delta and others from elsewhere who believe passionately in the restructuring of the Federation, the redefinition of the Nigerian state, the right of self-determination for their respective people and the expression of power, pride, self-respect and dignity for their various ethnic nationalities.

Freedom beckons whilst the wind of change is blowing across the world and no-one can stop it.

I thank God for that and I also thank Him for the millions of men of courage, strength and vision that have joined the fray.

Whatever happens in Nigeria and whatever may come our way, one thing remains clear: an idea whose time has come cannot be successfully resisted. Today may belong to our oppressors but tomorrow belongs to us.

At the appointed time we shall rise up to where we belong as a people and we shall free ourselves from the demonic shackles and satanic chains that have have been placed upon us by our collective tormentors.

And when that time comes we shall stand shoulder to shoulder with men like Nnamdi Kanu and face down our collective enemies.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob shall rise to our defence and the Lord of Hosts, the Ancient of Days, the God of the Armies of Israel and He who holds the universe together by the power of His word shall lift us up to where we belong.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

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Iran Set for Presidential Elections on June 28 Following Raisi’s Tragic Death

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Ebrahim Raisi

The political landscape in Iran was abruptly reshaped following the untimely demise of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash over the weekend.

Now, the nation is poised for a significant transition with presidential elections scheduled for June 28 as reported by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will assume the role of president in the interim, in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic.

This unexpected development comes in the wake of a tragic accident that claimed the lives of Raisi and eight others, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in north-western Iran.

The government attributed the crash to adverse weather conditions and dense fog in the mountainous region.

As Iran prepares for the upcoming elections, candidates will have the opportunity to register starting May 30.

However, prospective candidates will undergo thorough vetting by the Guardian Council, a body comprising 12 clerics and jurists responsible for administering elections.

The council’s scrutiny is anticipated to be particularly stringent, given the unexpected vacancy in the presidency and the significance of the upcoming transition.

While Vice President Mokhber has assumed leadership in the interim period, it remains uncertain whether he will contest the presidential elections himself.

Speculation abounds as to who will emerge as the frontrunner in the electoral race, with many analysts suggesting that the clerical establishment and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may prefer a candidate aligned with Raisi’s ultraconservative stance, characterized by deep-seated distrust of the United States and Israel.

Raisi’s tenure as president was marked by polarizing policies and events.

His association with mass arrests and executions following violent protests in 2022, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini while in custody for allegedly violating Iran’s dress code, stirred controversy both domestically and internationally.

As such, his passing has not only left a void in Iran’s leadership but has also raised questions about the future trajectory of the nation’s politics.

With the presidential elections fast approaching, Iran finds itself at a critical juncture, grappling with the aftermath of a tragic loss while navigating the complexities of its political landscape.

As the nation mourns the passing of President Raisi, all eyes are now on the forthcoming electoral process, which is poised to shape Iran’s future in the post-Raisi era.

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Iran Mourns: Helicopter Crash Claims Lives of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian

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Ebrahim Raisi

A tragic helicopter crash has claimed the lives of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, sending shockwaves across the nation and plunging the country into mourning.

The fatal incident occurred in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, where the helicopter carrying the two senior officials and several other passengers crashed, resulting in the loss of all on board.

The crash site, now a scene of charred wreckage, stands as a somber reminder of the untimely demise of these key figures in Iranian politics.

President Raisi, who assumed office in August 2021, was widely regarded for his commitment to serving the Iranian people and advancing the nation’s interests on the global stage.

His tenure as president was marked by efforts to strengthen Iran’s position in regional affairs and enhance diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.

Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian played a pivotal role in shaping Iran’s foreign policy, particularly in fostering closer ties with neighboring nations in the Middle East, including Arab countries across the Gulf.

His diplomatic acumen and dedication to advancing Iran’s interests earned him respect both domestically and internationally.

The news of their tragic deaths has elicited an outpouring of grief and condolences from leaders and citizens alike, both within Iran and abroad.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his deep sadness over the loss, highlighting President Raisi’s commitment to justice, peace, and the upliftment of the Muslim world.

Similarly, the European Union extended its sincere condolences to the families of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, acknowledging the profound impact of their untimely passing on the Iranian nation.

The helicopter crash not only robbed Iran of two of its most prominent leaders but also left a void in the country’s political landscape.

As the nation grapples with this immense loss, tributes pour in from all corners, commemorating the contributions of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian to the advancement of Iran’s interests and the well-being of its people.

The legacy of these esteemed leaders will endure in the hearts and minds of Iranians, serving as a guiding light for future generations as they navigate the complexities of governance and diplomacy in an ever-changing world.

Iran mourns the loss of two of its finest sons, whose dedication and service will be remembered for years to come.

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