Nigeria: Free Nnamdi Kanu!


Drop All Criminal Charges Against Him! Join the Fight for an independent Biafran State!


Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV), Nigerian section of the RCIT. 1st July, 2021.



The exiled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has been arrested by Nigerian authorities. He was arraigned in the Federal High Court on Tuesday where the Department of State Services (DSS) was given the permission to detain him until the next hearing on July 26&27. Sequel to his arrest the Nigerian Army has dispatched troops to the South Eastern states to deter any popular campaign for his release. (1)


While the actual details of his arrest remains unclear, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, in a press conference said Kanu was “intercepted” by the “Nigerian intelligence and security services” on Sunday. The British High Commission to Nigeria has denied he was arrested on British soil as he has been resident there for the past 2 years. (2)


Although the true meaning of “intercepted” will be unraveled with time, reports have it that there has been a thorough going attempt by Abuja to capture Kanu by hook or crook in recent months. (3) It is however clear that the arrest is impossible without the covert or overt collaboration with bodies like Interpol, British or American intelligence which are the blood hounds of Western imperialism.


This disputes the claim of many pro-Russian/Chinese Stalinists who dismiss the national liberation movements as separatist projects of Western powers and shows the side that British and US imperialism stand on the actualisation of an independent Biafran state. Moreso it shows that the stance of imperialism on the secessionists campaigns most likely remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.




South Eastern Governors Vow Fealty To Northern Hegemony




The arrest comes just weeks after the South Eastern governors in a communique released after a meeting renounced the Biafra movement disowning all its bodies such as the IPOB, ESN etc and pledged allegiance to being part of Nigeria. They also agreed to fleshen up Ebube Agu (the King’s Lion) an apparatus set up by the governors to combat the IPOB’s ESN and its growing influence in the region. (4)


This is the answer that many left activists and socialist groups in Nigeria (like Femi Falana, SAN; the Cliffite SWL; Nigerian section of the ISA and most of the socialists in the Coalition for Revolution, CORE) who withhold support for the southern nationalist movements on the account that they are controlled by the regional governments require. We note in passing that these are the same activists that brag over being in the “trenches” to fight the military in the 90’s despite the fact that the face of that struggle was M.K.O. Abiola, a reactionary bourgeois politician who was the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections.


The disposition of the state governments of the south can never be for the liberation of the region through and through because of the stakes the politicians have to lose. The South Eastern governors in particular are increasingly afraid of the popularity of the Biafra movement and are afraid of the outcome of the power tussle that may ensue in the advent of independence for Biafra. There are already subtle appeals by the Lagos state House of Assembly to the Northern ruling class as a means of both increasing the autonomy of the south and maintaining the northern dominance but at a reduced level by suggesting that Nigeria be renamed into United Africa/Alkebulan Republic (UAR). (5)


True the southern ruling class does dance to the tune of the nationalist movements at times but this is in order to protect their own interest against northern expansion or to maintain their power over the southern people. In the final analysis these section of the Nigerian ruling class fall into the camp that must be defeated with their northern counterparts or swept aside altogether as the masses take charge of their own liberation. Our approach in the RSV has been to support the national liberation movements of the southern ethnic nationalities without giving any political support to the southern ruling class.




National Oppression and Anti-imperialism




We also use this medium to point out that beside the incendiary comments of President Buhari against the Igbo nation, the arbitrary arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is another marker of the national oppression of the Igbos by the Northern ruling class. Many Nigerians have noted that despite the evidence backed reports that link the Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami to Boko Haram/ISWAP he still remains in office talkless of being arrested. Other open sympathisers of Salafi Islamists and kidnappers (Bandits) like Sheik Gumi still walk freely, much worse work closely with Federal government.


The national liberation movements on the other hand creates a powerful avenue for deepening the discussion on Anti-imperialism in Nigeria. Biafra supporters have been known to call out British imperialism over its support of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) because of its geopolitical interests. Protesters in the UK have called out 10 Downing Street for supporting the on-going genocide of the Igbos which started in 1966. By admitting the Western backed dominance of the North over the South, the road is opened to a broader discussion of imperialist exploitation in Nigeria as the relationship of national oppression and capitalist super-exploitation is a symbiosis.


The RSV calls on the workers to stand for the right of the southern ethnic nationalities to self-determination and the defence of these nations against repression from the Federal Government of Nigeria!


Release Nnamdi Kanu immediately and without condition! Rescind all charges against him!


Defeat the Nigerian Army and Police in the South East! Defend the IPOB and ESN against state aggression! Down with Ebube Agu! Fight for the Actualisation of Biafran Independence!


For a Workers’ and Poor Peasant Government which expropriates the South Eastern Bourgeoisie as a first step to opening the road to socialism in West Africa!