Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho, Omoyele Sowore, Government Ekpemukpolo (Tompolo)
Our online newspaper, Emerald News, has unraveled four non-state actors with great number of supporters and followers in Nigeria. One cannot tell how they were able to gather such number of followers to themselves.
These people have no political backing, no government support but they have a large following to the extent that when they make statements without the backing of any force for implementation, their desires are carried out.
Most government directives are carried out by fear, intimidation and coersion either through force, using armed security personnel or threat of what may happen if those actions are not carried out. But for these non-state actors, people are ready to die for them.
They have the following without being paid. Some die in the process but the struggle still continues. But not so with government world over. The followers listen to their directives with a higher degree than the government of the world.
One of such non-state actors is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). In Nigeria, although the federal government has proscribed the IPOB movement, describing it as a terrorist body, Nnamdi Kanu’s followers have not given up.
Over the years, Kanu had been in London or wherever, he gives directive through Radio Biafra and the youths in the South east Nigeria begin to run helter skelter to obey directives from London. They see him as their master and leader. The respect they accord him is higher than that given to governors. Governors give directives and people scarcely obey them. But when Kanu and his IPOB give directive, the South east dwellers obey without asking a question.
Even now that Kanu is in DSS custody, the youths at home are carrying out his assignments without hesitation. Despite the sit at home order had been reportedly repealed, every Monday, all South east states remain almost under lock and key, roads are empty while shops, especially Onitsha markets, are shutdown. But not so when government gives directives.
Another respected person among his kits and kin is Sunday Igboho. Sunday Igboho came into limelight last year when he championed the fight for the Yoruba nation. Just like Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho has been clamouring for the Oduduwa republic. His grouse arose from the incessant attacks of the Yoruba farmers by Fulani herdsmen who use cows to graze their farms. Despite repeated calls, the federal government has surreptitiously remained nonchalant over the matter.
Women are being raped, travelers kidnapped, others are killed, farmlands are destroyed and accusing fingers are being pointed at the Fulani herdsmen. But the federal government seems to be paying deaf ears to the calls of the suffering farmers across the states.
Arising from this, Igboho emerged and called for the separation of the Yoruba nation from the federal republic of Nigeria. Within a short period of time, he gained a lot of followers across the Southwest states of Nigeria. Igboho moved from village to village, launching campaigns against the Fulani herdsmen and calling for the secession of the Yoruba nation. His movement is always with crowd as Yoruba youths believed on him and his ideologies.
Omoyele Sowore is the third person in this line of thought. Although his own deologies are not separatist, he is one of the persons who had fought the federal government, arrested by DSS several times and remained undaunted. He also has a large following who cluster around him whenever he plans some protests in the federal capital territory, Abuja, Nigeria.
With his Sahara Reporters which has earned him several court cases, some of which may still be ongoing, Sowore has gained wide acceptance among progressive minded youths in the country. He has called for series of protests, most of which were blocked by federal capital territory police in Abuja. He makes his announcement from the social media and the expected people converge at planned locations.
He is one of the leading influencers and has called for better life for Nigerians. During his 2019 presidential campaigns, he decried the pains Nigerians were going through and promised better welfare package for all Nigerians.
Government Ekpemukpolo, aka Tompolo is a puller of crowd in the Niger Delta, especially in the riverine Ijaw and the creeks. In the Niger Delta, his name rings a bell among the youths and anyone who is interested in the development of the oil rich region. His objective throughout his battle in the creek was against the marginalisation of the Niger Delta region.
He is aggrieved that the region that produces the oil that feeds the nation is treated as a second class region with Abuja and other states which do not know the pains of the people from whose communities the oil is being extracted. Today, the peace being enjoyed in the region is the handiwork of Tompolo.
These four persons, in their various agitations, raised different issues which the federal government must look into if the agitations must stop.