NOVEMBER 20, 2016 – Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has expressed profound opinion of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, stating that contrary to all expectations, he is the most courageous, powerful and credible Igbo leader in Nigeria today.
Recounting his encounter with Kanu in the cell during his 29-day detention, Fani- Kayode said that Kanu “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 and no government can repress him.”
Fani-Kayode, who declined an interview with Sunday Telegraph, but made available the second part of his paper titled “The Spirit and Soul of Nnamdi Kanu,” said of his meeting with the ‘freedom fighter, Kanu’. “I was amazed at his depth of knowledge, his immense courage and his deep convictions.”
Justifying his position, the former Minister, who was recently granted bail in a case of money laundering said: “I have associated with, met and worked with many men of influence and power since I joined politics 30 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.”
He said that during the encounter, they discussed their respective views about Nigeria: “Our collective history, the suffering and marginalisation of our respective people, the reptilian and violent nature of the Nigerian state, the present dispensation and the way forward.
“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,” Fani-Kayode said.
Apparently aware that he stirred the hornet’s nest by that description of Kanu, currently in detention over allegations of treason, Fani-Kayode said: “I believe that we must give honour to whom it is due.
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 but they also lack the gift of discernment. Worse of all they are suffering from good old fashioned envy and they have been afflicted with the worst form of ignorance,” He said most of those vilifying him for his comments have never met the man Kanu, let alone know him. “I sat next to him for three solid hours in the most challenging and difficult circumstances.
Like the great William Wallace of Scotland, I have no doubt that if it were 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.
“Very few Nigerian leaders have that level of selflessness and commitment and 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: he feels and shares the pain of the Igbo and he yearns for their liberation and emancipation from I am increasingly hostile and oppressive Nigeria,” the former Aviation Minister said.
Fani-Kayode added that Kanu is not a politician in the true sense of the word but “rather a freedom fighter and a charismatic leader who has managed to inspire millions of Igbo youth all over the world and that is a good thing.”
He added: “Kanu is a man of great faith and conviction and his rise to prominence is not ordinary but instead prophetic, and he cannot be destroyed or silenced by any government or man born of woman because the Lord 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.”