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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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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Government

China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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Government

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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