From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, a prisoner of conscience. This was contained in a statement released to newsmen by the organisation’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful. According to the statement, the group took the decision after looking at the circumstances surrounding Kanu’s rendition from Kenya.
Liking his situation to that of Nelson Mandela who suffered 27 imprisonment, deprivations, sufferings and hardship because of his insistence on freedom for his people and the entire black race, Powerful noted that Kanu’s agitation is not, in any way, different from Mandela’s.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been in DSS detention in Abuja ever since his rendition. We, therefore, wish to inform the world, mostly civilised countries and the African continent that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is fighting for the freedom and self- determination of his people because under the United Nations Charter, to which Nigeria is a signatory, self-determination is not a crime.
“He did so peacefully by articulating the decades of oppression, marginalisation, inequality, apartheid, brutality and genocide to which his people and all oppressed peoples in Nigeria have been subjected.
“And in light of those grievances, he demanded a referendum on self-determination and self-rule for the indigenous peoples of Biafra and all aggrieved groups and lovers of freedom.
“The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has been, and remains a peaceful organisation, devoid of any hate or violence and totally committed to its aims and objectives through peaceful democratic means as recognised by international law.
Having regards, therefore, to all of the above, and his continued extrajudicial detention, we hereby declare Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a “Prisoner Of Conscience”.