The World’s Press can no longer ignore the cause of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The Press must join in the global demand for justice and shine a beacon of truth to cause his immediate and unconditional release from incarceration by the Nigerian Government as a political prisoner in violation of International Human Rights laws and the laws of Nigeria. A demand from the International Press Community must issue forth requiring that the Republic of Nigeria cease conducting itself as a Pariah State and comply with the Rule of Law and International Human Rights laws and grant immediate freedom for Nnamdi Kanu, on behalf of the Igbo People as the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, known as “IPOB”.
Astoundingly, two separate Nigerian Courts in 2022 ruled that Nnamdi Kanu must be freed from imprisonment and all charges against him immediately dismissed and awarded him ₦1 BILLION Naira from the Federal Republic of Nigeria as penalty for his June 2021 kidnapping and arbitrary detention. Additionally, the United Nations has also entered a scathing judgment against the Federal Republic of Nigeria declaring the kidnapping and continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu in blatant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains in a Nigerian prison.
Nnamdi Kanu is remarkably similar to Nelson Mandela in his charismatic approach to securing freedom and safety for over 42 million Igbo in Nigeria, to the direct benefit of Nigeria in general and the over 20 million Igbo in the diaspora worldwide. Like Mandela, Nnamdi Kanu pursues self-determination through non-violent means and has been jailed for two years without trial for his political views, his ethnicity, and his efforts to assist his people to break free from continued ethnic and religious apartheid persecution and genocide. Like Mandela, Nnamdi Kanu has been wrongfully labelled a terrorist by those who conspire to unlawfully deny him and his people freedom through disregard of fundamental human rights and promotion of criminal apartheid behavior to subjugate the Igbo people.
However, Nnamdi Kanu exceeds Mandela and presents a better paradigm of freedom and human rights than did Nelson Mandela in that there were never judicial decisions from the courts or a U.N. demand for his release. Unfortunately, despite these pronouncements of law within his own country and from the International Community, Nnamdi Kanu currently languishes in prison as the “Nelson Mandela of the New Millennium”. The Nigerian government ignores and refuses to follow its own laws and binding International Human Rights Treaties in violation of the Rule of Law and Good Governance. Additionally, Mandela dealt with apartheid alone. Nnamdi Kanu’s Igbo have suffered in far greater numbers than did South Africans under the same yoke of apartheid injustice, with the addition of genocide against the Igbo People – which was never present in Mandela’s fight for freedom and justice in South Africa.
Evidence has come to light that Nnamdi Kanu’s Nigerian jailers have denied his medical care and forced him on an unhealthy diet calculated to end his life. Recently, a horrifying truth has been uncovered – prisoners with virulent and deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and Covid-19 have been purposefully housed in close proximity to Nnamdi Kanu in the hopes that he will conveniently be stricken and die while in custody.
This blatant injustice and disregard for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Nigeria cannot stand. The newly elected Tinubu Administration has indicated that it wants Nigeria to be seen in a favorable light by the World’s Nations. Calls from the World’s Press for compliance with the Nigerian Court Orders and the United Nations rulings in favor of the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from imprisonment will not be ignored and would be triumphantly emblematic of the power of the Press. Causing Nigeria’s adherence to the Rule of Law and Good Governance and signaling Nigeria’s return to the company of the World’s Great Nations is a noble and just mission. The press can further its historic mission as the watchdog of human rights around the globe if the cause of Freedom for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is undertaken to lead Nigeria’s break from its recent lawless past.
The Press cannot continue to stand by in silence and must take up this call for Justice and Human Rights and lead the global advocacy effort in support of Human Rights and the Rule of Law and Good Governance in Nigeria through the demand of the immediate and unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu from his wrongful imprisonment. The cry of “Free Nnamdi Kanu!” must echo around the Globe and leap from the pages and broadcasts of the World’s Press to remedy this generational injustice that echoes the twin evils of apartheid and genocide to summon the greatness of Nelson Mandela in our times.
Bruce Del Valle, Esquire
DelValle Law PLLC