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Has Nnamdi kanu dead?
Has Nnamdi kanu dead?


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The sudden disappearance of the leader of the Indigenous
People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and members of his
immediate family since the invasion of his home by
soldiers has become a major talking point in the South-
east of Nigeria, writes Christopher Isiguzo

Since the invasion of his home in Isiama Afaraukwu,
Umuahia, Abia State last week by soldiers, resulting in the
alleged killings of several persons including one Adaku
Odoemenam, identified as his cousin, the whereabouts of
the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),
Nnamdi Kanu has remained unknown same with his father
and traditional ruler of the community, Eze Israel Kanu
and wife.

Rumours have been flying around as to what may have
happened to the separatist leader and members of his
immediate family since the incident in Umuahia,
penultimate week, where soldiers were said to have not
only invaded his home but also ransacked his father’s
palace in what was obviously seen by his followers as the
height of clampdown against the group.

Some of the rumours had it that Kanu sustained serious
gunshot wounds during the attack in his country home
and because he’s not been able to visit any hospital for
proper treatment, the injuries have remained a major
“The wound is deteriorating that sometimes he feels
dizzy and unconscious. I can tell you that the young man
is presently in pains,” one of his ardent followers, who
refused to have his name in print told THISDAY.
Another IPOB loyalist, Uzoma Nduka, claimed that Kanu
successfully escaped from his home on the fateful night
but was accosted around Okigwe in Imo State, where he
was allegedly killed and his body taken away.
Yet, another rumour claimed he was arrested in Okigwe
by soldiers and taken away in an unmarked vehicle.
These are all rumours as none was confirmed.
It was said that Kanu had remained defiant at the arrival
of soldiers in Umuahia preparatory for the official take off
of the military operation codenamed “Python Dance II”
and vowed that no amount of intimidation would make
him abandon the struggle for Biafra’s independence. Not
even the arrival of a large contingent of well-armed
troops into Umuahia in a long convoy of troop carriers,
patrol vans and armoured vehicles instilled fear in him.
“They want to use force and beat us into submission,
because they have lost the argument but they will fail.
They want to trigger war but we won’t oblige them,
because we are committed to our non-violent
philosophy,” the source said.
The defiance however gave way on Thursday September
14, when the soldiers intensified their attacks as they
invaded Kanu’s home very much ready to dismantle any
possible opposition. On the said day, heavy gunfire broke
out at the Afaraukwu home of the IPOB leader as the
sound of gunfire rented the air for almost an hour. At that
point, many feared that every living thing in the building
had been brought down.
By the time the dust settled, only four bodies were
reportedly sighted as the soldiers were said to have made
away with the bodies of many IPOB members, who died
as a result of the melee. This obviously raised fears that
Kanu might as well have been felled in the process and
his body taken away. Since that Thursday, nobody can
give account of the whereabouts of the separatist leader.
The slow response by the group in the wake of many
unsavoury developments, especially its proscription on
September 15 by Governors of the South-east, its
categorisation as a terrorist group by the Defence
Headquarters and formal proscription by a Federal High
Court, Abuja on Wednesday September 20 has further
increased fears that all may not be well with the
embattled IPOB leader.
The group and traditional rulers of Ibeku clan in Abia
State on Wednesday demanded an explanation from the
federal authority and military high command on the
whereabouts of Kanu, his parents, Israel and Ugoeze Kanu.
This anxiety stemmed from the belief that the worst
might have happened to Kanu and his parents, following
the invasion of their home last Thursday by the army.
A statement issued by the IPOB media and publicity
secretary, Emma Powerful, said the group had “gone
deep” in the search for its leader without any clue on his
whereabouts as well as his parents, asking that
information on their condition – dead or alive – should be
made available within seven days to avoid dire
“We are using this opportunity to inform the whole world,
including the United Nations, that the Nigerian Army killed
our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu during the attack and
invasion of his compound in Umuahia, Abia State,” IPOB
said. The group explained that it had come to the
conclusion that Kanu might have been eliminated “after
going through the record of IPOB members in the
compound on the day of this heinous attack and
invasion,” adding that it discovered that about 38
members were arrested and up till now no one had seen
or heard from them.
“We also discovered that the Nigerian Army left the
compound of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Isiama
Afaraukwu Ibeku with 22 dead bodies on the same day,”
the separatists group alleged, adding that the fate of Kanu
had become a puzzle.
“We are once again raising the alarm for the United
Nations and other relevant bodies across the globe to ask
the Nigerian government and her security operatives to
give details of the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and
his parents, including those dead bodies and those picked
up alive during the attack and invasion of our leader’s
compound in Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia,” the group
IPOB blamed the governors of the South-east for the fate
that befell Kanu, saying it could not fathom why “the
South-east governors would decide to collaborate with
Hausa Fulani oligarchy to kill our leader, Mazi Nnamdi
Kanu, and his parents.
“Nnamdi Kanu has been using a non-violent approach for
the realisation of Biafra since 2012, when the struggle for
Biafra’s independence started. Okezie Ikpeazu, who was
mandated by the federal government and other South-
eastern governors to lead the fight against Nnamdi Kanu
and IPOB members in Abia State must be held
responsible for this action in the distant time.
“We are giving the federal government and South-east
governors to produce or declare the condition of our
leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, if he is still alive or charge
him to court within seven days, because if anything
happens to him the South-east governors can never bear
the consequences after the expiration of this notice.
“Again, the federal government and South-east governors
should hasten to build more prison yards and acquire
more weapons that they will use to kill more Biafrans,”
IPOB stated.
Consequently, the royal fathers of Ibeku clan in Umuahia
North Local Government made their call for Kanu and his
parents’ whereabouts after a meeting at the palace of
their chairman and traditional ruler of Emede Ibeku
autonomous community, Eze Henry Ezekwem.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Ezekwem said the
Ibeku royal fathers were unhappy over the “desecration of
the throne” of Eze Kanu and his ofo, the symbol of
authority of the traditional stool.
They however expressed concern that Kanu’s parents had
not been seen after the invasion of their palace, adding
that the Nigerian Army owed them an explanation,
because many people were killed in the attack including
the female cook of the Kanus.
“The army should release our colleague, Eze Israel Kanu,
because we have not seen him since his palace was
invaded by soldiers. If they have killed him they should
please release his corpse to us so we can give him a
befitting burial,” Ezekwem appealed, adding that “they
(army) have to appease the gods” for desecrating the
palace and ofo”.
When contacted, the Secretary of Eastern Consultative
Assembly (ECA), Evangelist Elliot Uko, who was part of
the team that accompanied Kanu during his meeting with
the South-east governors in Enugu said “we’ve heard so
many rumours but I can’t confirm whether he is safe
where he is or whether he was arrested. I am not sure of
his whereabouts and we are deeply worried”.
On his part, renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben
Nwabueze, SAN expressed worry at the sudden
disappearance of the IPOB leader and also asked the
governors of the South-east zone to re-engage him in
fresh talks “when the tension caused by last week’s
military invasion had quietened down”.
In a statement made available to journalists and
personally signed by him, the lawyer, who is also the
chairman of the Igbo Leaders of Thoughts, gave the
indication that the Kanu was ready for peaceful resolution
of the impasse before the military invasion.
The elder statesman, who accompanied Kanu to meet
with the governors in Enugu on August 30, 2017 dismissed
as false, insinuations in some quarters that Kanu was
opposed to the amicable resolution of issues during the
meeting. He said on the contrary, Kanu was not just
ready to shift ground but had insisted that the entire
leadership of IPOB must be involved in the discussions.
Nwabueze expressed dismay over the disturbances in
Umuahia, Aba and other parts of the South-east on
account of the attempt to clampdown on the separatist
group. He further noted that also on September 15, he
travelled back to Enugu from Lagos for the meeting and
spoke on phone with the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave
Umahi, who never mentioned a word to him about the
decision which must have been taken days before, to
proscribe IPOB.
The issue of Kanu’s whereabouts has remained the
talking point in virtually every gathering and in practically
all the state capitals in the five states of Abia, Imo,
Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu. At a popular newspaper stand
around Edimbugh Street, near Obiagu, New layout, Enugu,
Kanu has remained the issue.
One Emeka Eneh, who spoke to THISDAY said they would
not take it kindly with the federal government should
anything happen to Kanu.
Another concerned indigene, Mrs. Rosemary Agbo, said:<br /> “We are disturbed that he has not been seen for almost
two weeks now. We are looking for him and hopefully,
we’ll see him hale and hearty soon.”
Comrade Paschal Iwedinobi was rather excited that
normalcy had returned to the South-east with the
proscription of IPOB by the federal government and the
disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu.
“Who will not be happy to live in a peaceful environment?
Kanu has caused more problems to us in the zone than
anything else. Let him remain wherever he is because we
are better off without him. Imagine the effrontery, that
election will not take place in Anambra State? Who is
Nnamdi Kanu to issue such orders? Does he understand
the implications of such a childish order. Whether election
takes place or not, power must change hands in Anambra
by March 17 next year and someone is here saying what
we don’t know. Let the soldiers remain here until we are
through with our election by November 18,” Iwedinobi
However anyone looks at the divergent opinions being
expressed by different people, one undeniable fact is that
the sudden disappearance of Kanu and members of his
family is creating its own tension already as most of his
adherents are obviously not at ease.
Among the political class, it is the general view that Kanu
has upped the ante in the discourse about marginalisation
of the South-east and restructuring, even though is
approach is arguably defective. They therefore believe
that for the issues about the resurrection of Biafra to
completely fizzle out, government must begin to equally
address the issues that are fuelling the agitations.
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