British best-selling author and political commentator, Frederick Forsyth, has suggested Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations over her illegal and continued detention of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The 84-year old Journalist, argued that Nigeria should not be indulging in rights abuse and disregard to court orders and still be allowed to be a member of Commonwealth of Nations.
He argued that South Africa which was once suspended from the body did not have equal rights violation as currently witnessed in Nigeria.
Forsyth insisted that Nigeria should be compelled to return Kanu to Britain where his family resides.
He also lampooned the British Government for not doing much to put pressure on Nigeria to free Kanu who holds British citizenship.
The octogenarian noted that Kanu’s fate could be suffered by any British citizen abroad, expressing worries that if the British Government continues to remain passive, holding British passport may no longer be a thing of pride.
“Nnamdi Kanu, a British national, is being held in Nigeria and his family says he is in failing health, denied all medical help and regularly beaten up,” he lamented.
Below is a full text of the article by Forsyth obtained by Ikengaonline:
“A few days ago, I had never heard of Nnamdi Kanu and the chances are neither had you. So… briefly. He is 55 and was born and raised in Nigeria; specifically eastern Nigeria which was then involved in a civil war with the Federal Government in Lagos.
“The issue then was the desire of his Igbo people, the majority in eastern Nigeria, to separate as a new republic of Biafra. It was defeated and re-absorbed but in adulthood, this has become his life’s cause – the re-creation of the vanished Biafra.
“So far, so remote from all of us. But he is now and has been for many years a British citizen, his family home is in south London, and that, as for all of us, accords certain rights and protections.
“One of these is the Consular service which is supposed to do all it can to help us if we ever get into any form of trouble abroad. Several times in my life, I have felt that stiff blue passport in my breast pocket a very comforting bulge.
“Whether his ambition for a separate state for his ethnic homeland is a pipe dream or not, his writing, speaking and militating for his cause is or should be, no more illegal than what the SNP is doing up in Scotland and Nigeria is a leading member of the Commonwealth, a privilege that forbids membership to dictatorships on pain of expulsion.
“But two years ago Nnamdi was snatched in Nairobi by the pretty horrifying Nigerian secret police, hustled to the airport with the seeming connivance of the Kenyans, and flown to Nigeria. Since then he has been in an underground cell in the capital Abuja.
“As such he is a few hundred yards from our High Commission which contains the Consular department. Reports from his family say he is in failing health, denied all medical help and regularly beaten up.
“Given the savage record of Nigeria’s secret police, no surprises there then. According to my information, he has been twice visited by British officials who have made “representations.
“Apparently just representations. But I am also advised that British concerns are to the Nigerians as worrying as a bothersome housefly. His lodged appeal to the Nigerian Supreme Court hovers somewhere in the stratosphere.
“There are two effective recourses in front of us if our bureaucrats on the cocktail circuit could rise from their amply funded buttocks.
“One is to raise Cain and, given the huge sums in aid that we plunge into Nigeria via the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, that Cain could be very worrying indeed to their High Commission in London, which has access to its own government at the highest level.
“The other is to raise, via the Commonwealth Secretariat under Baroness Scotland, the whole question, bearing in mind the horrors of brutality now taking place not just in Eastern Nigeria but right across the country amid universal corruption, of the very issue of that country’s continued membership of the worldwide organisation.
“After all, the Commonwealth once ended the membership of South Africa, Pakistan and Fiji for a lot less than is presently going on in Nigeria – of which the plight of Nnamdi Kanu is a tiny particle.”