When a man has lived a long life, and has attained the age of 80, you don’t expect to agree with all he has said or done. His human foibles should not be allowed to overshadow his moments of light. But some indiscretions can stand out, though, and may haunt his hoary journey to the end. Professor Ben Nwabueze has often affected to be an intellectual, and at times, he has shown himself one. He is a constitutional lawyer by some standards. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, although not many agree with the judgement of those who dole out the SANs these days.
Recently though, Nwabueze associated with Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB, and called him a great Igbo man. Hear him: “Today is one of the greatest days of my life, meeting you.”
But he lacked the courage to say the man is calling for Biafra. This is a fork-tongued intellectual licking two soups at the same time. He says, the Biafran advocate is not fighting for “secession but for regional autonomy.” May I ask the learned prof what Biafra means?
Did we not fight a war over that? Has Kanu not in many ways and on many platforms called unequivocally for Biafra. Is the professor lost in some sort of octogenarian fancy, the delusion of age? Is associating with Kanu not a cowardly way of accepting Biafra without the liver to say it in plain language?
In Jonathan’s time, he was cosy with the inept Azikiwe, visiting him at Aso Rock and offering him advice. How many times did he complain when Jonathan accommodated his kinsmen. He did not caution his kinsmen from a pig’s embrace of a man who conned the Igbos by giving them elite positions but did nothing concrete in terms of infrastructure and other deliverables of government.
This is the way of hypocrisy, not of an intellectual. If his intellectualism is about embracing a secessionist, he has made himself a friend of an enemy of our sovereignty. He has led a group called Patriots. He is the least qualified for that position, except if he agrees he is not a Nigerian patriot. To embrace Kanu would make him an impostor.