Nigeria’s Divided Mind – Beyond Kanu – The Nigerian Voice

It is now in the world’s domain that Kelechi Madu and Abubakar Malami are in a war of words and name calling over Nnamdi Kanu, the freedom fighter of the Eastern region of Nigeria and a British citizen, who told his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor how he was apprehended in Kenya and moved to Nigeria.

Malami, currently doubles as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in Nigeria, a developing country with the largest population in Africa.

Madu, is the Minister of Justice and Solicitor-general of the Government of Alberta, in Canada, one of the world’s seven largest advanced economies among others like France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States of America.

Madu, has slammed Malami, over the recent ‘arrest’ of Nnamdi Kanu.

In his statement, Madu noted that “He ( Malami) has shown himself to be a bigot (strong words for me) who does not understand what it means to live in a pluralistic society governed by the dictates of the rule of law.

”On the other hand, Malami, in his statement referred to Madu as an “ignoramus” (strong words for me) whose views on the re-arrest of Kanu, “are eccentric and weird to the legal profession.”

Madu, sees illegality in the entire process regarding Kanu’s return to Nigeria, but Malami sees no illegality. I will leave that debate for international lawyers to interpret. I am Psychologist.

On a psychological and humanitarian ground, I am glad to hear that Malami mentioned the words ‘Treaty Agreement.’ From the point of legal psychology, in terms of humane treatment, was Kanu extradited from Kenya based on a treaty agreement?

Because Kanu has told his lawyer, he was abducted, tortured in Kenya, and moved to Nigeria. We now have Wilfred Machage, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, denying its government knowledge of removing Kanu from Kanya.

No right-thinking person will disagree with Malami that once a person is defined as a fugitive, including kanu, and fleeing justice that person can be brought back to face justice. But it must be done in accordance with international law.

The Buhari government appears to be in a deep diplomatic crisis, regarding how Kanu was brought back to the country. Britain, where Kanu resides as a British citizen, said he was not extradited from Britain.

From the point of humanitarian principles and international concerns, especially in the face of these discrepancies, I beg the Western powers to use all their joint authority, and donor relationship to these two African countries, and urgently investigate this overly sensitive and grave matter.

My main worry now is about the health of Kanu, and how possible violations of Kanu’s fundamental human rights by Nigeria and Kenya could further trigger and worsen his wellbeing.

At his first court appearance before Justice Binta Nyako, Kanu was allowed to speak even without his lawyer. And the Federal Government was fully aware that his legal counsel is Ejiofor, whom they should have informed of Kanu’s arrival and court date, so as to enable him be with his client. Kanu told the court, his disappearance from Nigeria was due to the ‘unlawful invasion’ of his residence in Abia State by the military and police, an operation that reportedly resulted in the death of many innocent people according to him.

Kanu, said “…my house was invaded, and people were killed. I would have been killed too if I had not hidden myself.”

Moving beyond the war of words between Madu and Malami, the place called Nigeria is facing existential crisis as both sides of the country, the North and South continue to engage in inexhaustible appetite for various forms of friction. The negative effect of all these frictions has extended to other regions in nation.

All these frictions especially between the two major regions, have now fully brought Nigeria to the attention of world powers. Nigeria now remains a deeply divided nation, in monumental ways.

The North and non-Northerners do not just disagree, they hate each other. The Buhari government did not start the divided and distrustful attitudes between the Christians and muslims, and between the northern and the non-northerners. But what I call the heightened and dangerous psychology of authoritarianism which appeared more pronounced under Buhari, and his apparent overuse of religion, ethnicity, marginalization in appointments and resources; has now landed Nigeria into a permanent structural and psychological divide.

Unlike the Northern Governors forum known for their long-standing periodic meetings in sympathy with the present government, the Southern Governors’ Forum in a sweeping way and in line with the emotions of non-northerners are now meeting and joining hands.

They now demand that the next President of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern region, they have placed a ban on open grazing, and declared that the federal security agencies must take permission from them as Chief security officers before carrying out an operation in their respective States. In essence they are telling the Fulani led government, enough is enough, you can no longer put your overbearing knee on the neck of democratic States.

As I write this, the UK parliament is debating the conduct of this federal government over the way Kanu was returned to Nigeria. They are also debating about the rising kidnapping and killings of Nigerians mostly Christians. Let’s hope the same type of debate begins among other superpowers like Canada, France, and America.

Within Nigeria and around the world a definitive debunking of this government is deepening. What many see as a Fulani led government is being outsized by most parts of Nigeria including the Middle Belt, Yoruba, Igbo, Edo, and Delta populations.

Under all these pressures and cornering, Buhari as a person and president, may be becoming more isolated and angrier, and even weaker. If so, will he become more threatened, and start embracing dangerous conspiratorial views, that could result in suspiciousness and anxieties within the police, military, and security leaders of northern and non-northern backgrounds?

Buhari, a man that appears to be of hardened temperament, needs this little psychological advice. In a complex multicultural place like Nigeria, every human or group has the God given right to express their desire for self-determination, and you and your allies cannot stop them by using government violence. Not in the global 21st century.

There is what I call Compromise or Negotiation Therapy, Buhari could gain from it seriously. Before it is too late!

If truth be told, I would love to see a settled nation but as it is now, regional emotions are unsettled and look as if not negotiable, as such going apart may be better for all of us but not with blood shed—and under God.

Buhari and his allies inadvertently have turned both Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu into heroes. And guess who is now a dot in a circle, and has nowhere to go —Buhari.

Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi, an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings. In 2011, he introduced the State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and the Nasarawa State University where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. The Development Professor and International Liaison Consultant at the African University of Benin, and a Virtual Faculty at the ISCOM University, Benin of Republic. Author of over 36 academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books.

Prof. Oshodi was born in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria to parents with almost 40 years of police/corrections service, respectively. Periodically visits home for scholastic and humanitarian works. [email protected]

Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”


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