…Says ‘move will fast-track Biafra’
From: Okey Sampson, Aba
The family of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the group itself, have dared the Federal Government over the latter’s move to get the director of Radio Biafra, who is on bail, re-arrested.
Federal Government had last Friday filed an application through Loveme Odubo of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice, averring that the IPOB leader had flouted all his bail conditions, including setting up a security outfit, Biafra Security Service (BSS), which was viewed as a grave threat to national security and unity of the country.
Speaking in Umuahia on behalf of the family, Nnamdi Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu said his elder brother was not afraid of being re-arrested as that would help Biafra to come quicker than imagined.
“In fact that will facilitate and fast track the coming of Biafra. On a more serious note, any attempt to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu will spell doom for Nigeria, the nation will never be the same again. Re-arresting the IPOB leader means re-arresting over 70 million Biafrans. Nnamdi Kanu is not the target, he is the symbol of Biafra today, arresting him is like arresting the whole Biafrans.”
Prince Kanu said it was laughable that one of the reasons the Nigerian government had given for seeking Nnamdi Kanu’s re-arrest was that he formed what they called Biafra Secret Service (BSS).
He said it was not true, explaining that what was put in place is a vigilance group, adding that they are harmless people because IPOB is non violent, but only uses civil disobedience as its weapon. “This group is just to police our land against Fulani herdsmen, armed robberies and all that.”
The younger Kanu said it was wrong for the Federal Government to say that the IPOB leader had flouted the bail conditions given by the court, stating: “I don’t think it sounds okay before anybody. Freedom of movement is allowed anywhere,, any day worldwide. Is Nnamdi Kanu a terrorist? So, we disagree with the Federal Government on that.”
On whether the present threat from the Federal Government would make Nnamdi Kanu to abandon the agitation, Prince Emmanuel said, “In fact, Nnamdi Kanu remains resolute and very committed to the struggle. Whatever you do in terms of intimidation spurs him on the more.These are the type of things he likes so much. So, re-arresting him will make him stronger and quicken the realization of Biafra and will also spell doom for the nation.”
Prince Kanu said his brother was granted bail on health grounds and that he was still taking treatment and had an appointment with his doctor on Monday. He added that his treatment had taken long because his brother was allegedly almost poisoned while he was in detention.
The family further stated: “The Federal Government’s current threat will never make Nnamdi Kanu to be afraid to stand trial for whatever reason. Anyday, anytime, he is ready to stand trial because he is a man who has committed no crime. He is more than happy to stand trial and challenge whosoever that comes up. He is not afraid of going to court, he is not also afraid of going to prison. He was in prison and issued the sit-at-home order and people obeyed, so, his going back to prison will make things worse for the Federal Government.
“Nnamdi Kanu and Arewa youths that gave the Igbo in the North quit notice, who between the two committed treasonable felony? It was the Arewa youths and since then, nothing has happened to them.”
Speaking for IPOB, Apostle Kanada, an inner caucus member of the Biafra agitation group and founder of Afra Descendants Movement of Opobo in Rivers State, advised the Federal Government not to contemplate re-arresting Nnamdi Kanu because the action would be self defeating.
Kanada said the IPOB leader never flouted any bail condition, as curtailing his movement was on its own against his fundamental human rights since according to him Nnamdi Kanu was not a statue.
“Whether he accepted the bail condition or not is immaterial at this point in time, what we are saying is that the young man is positively affecting the lives of some people and the Federal Government is supposed to be happy about that.
“If Nnamdi Kanu is re-arrested as the Federal Government is requesting, things will be worse for this country, because IPOB members and other Biafra groups both within and outside Igbo land will not fold their arms and allow their leader to suffer,” he cautioned.
Kanu’s re-arrest: Ohanaeze warns govt
By Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
The apex Igbo organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has cautioned the Federal Government not to exacerbate the already tense nation, stating that the move to seek a revocation of the bail granted to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was a step in the wrong direction.
President General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo in a statement titled, “Attorney-General of the Federation, Please Respect Your Oath of Office” described as shocking the move by Mallam Abubakar Malami, to re-arrest Kanu and at the same time not making any attempt to arrest members of Arewa youths who gave Igbo residing in the North order to leave the region.
The body insisted that basing the current move by Malami to re-arrest Kanu on alleged violation of bail conditions was not only laughable but would amount to violation of the rights of the IPOB leader.
Nwodo said: “It has just been brought to my notice that the Attorney-General of the Federation has approached the courts to incarcerate Nnamdi Kalu for flouting his bail conditions.
“I am equally miffed by the audacity with which the Attorney-General displays his bias without regard to his oath of office.”
The Ohanaeze boss observed that just within the week, the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and in total defiance of the Head of State’s proclamation of the rights of a citizen of Nigeria to live anywhere in Nigeria and to do business anywhere in Nigeria, the Arewa Youths, pretending to withdraw their quit notice gave qualifications to the Head of State’s proclamation, issuing conditions for enjoyment of citizenship status.
And these same Arewa youths are supposed to have been arrested on the orders of the Governor of Kaduna State and the Inspector General of Police for acts of treason, conversion and sedition.
He said: “Nnamdi, as a citizen of Nigeria, is free to hold any point of view no matter how displeasing to anyone so long as they are not inciting or provoking any criminal activities,” Ohanaeze insisted.
Nwodo noted that even though he and “some Igbo leaders have differences of opinion with Nnamdi on a number of issues and have even been insulted and abused by Radio Biafra but we concede to them their rights to differ from us. We concede to them their nature to be exuberant as youths but we cannot be judgmental about their rights.”
Nwodo urged the Attorney General to note that, “in democracies, leaders are abused, pelted with rotten eggs and booed at, as the former Edo State Governor was booed in Abuja a few days ago. These acts are not necessarily criminal.”
Nwodo finally advised the “Attorney-General not to exacerbate our already tense nation by commencing a legal action which portrays him as biased, insensitive and mis-directed.”
IPOB to FG: We’ll resist illegal action
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday described the move by the Federal Government to re-arrest its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as dangerous path of intimidation, which smacks of state sponsored terrorism designed to silence free speech and infringe on rights to peaceful assembly.
IPOB noted that before the Federal Government makes, a move to re-arrest its leader, it must first go to court to obtain a court order or else it would be resisted by millions of IPOB members. The IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, while reacting to calls to re-arrest Kanu for allegedly violating bail conditions, said they must also approach the courts to grant their prayers and not try to subvert the legal process by instituting arrest without the permission of the court.
“We wish to place the whole world on notice regarding the illegal and wholesome undemocratic moves by government to re-arrest our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who committed no crime known to the laws of the Nigerian state. This dangerous path of intimidation smacks of state sponsored terrorism designed to silence free speech and infringe on our rights to peaceful assembly.
“Merely asserting that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a threat to the Nigerian government is not a crime unless accompanied by legally definable crime or offence. The Buhari-led administration must know that threats and more threats heaped upon intimidation after intimidation do not wash with IPOB. Before Buhari decides to make a move to arrest our leader, he must first go to court to obtain a court order or else it will be resisted by millions of IPOB members”.
He explained that the group was well aware that government would make this sort of move, hence it made adequate preparations.
“As soon as the illegal, unconstitutionally draconian conditions of the bail were spelt out by Justice Binta Nyako we knew such a day would come when they will use the cover of broken bail condition to launch an attack. “Federal Government must do exactly what IPOB did, after all, the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction. When IPOB complained about the inhumane bail conditions, we were advised to approach the court for variation. Now that the almighty Arewa North is uncomfortable with the conduct of our leader in respect of the same bail conditions, they must also approach the courts to grant their prayers and not try to subvert the legal process by instituting arrest without the permission of the court.
Whatever issue the government has with our leader must first be presented before Justice Binta Nyako’s court for determination.
“Nnamdi Kanu is spiritually and mentally prepared for this epic battle. He is not afraid of being locked up without trial as long as his personal physician will be allowed to visit and attend to his medical needs. In dictatorial and totalitarian regimes such as we have under this APC government, outspoken critics are often imprisoned without trial, so this undemocratic and illegal approach to resolving the thorny issue of Biafra self-determination championed by IPOB is to be expected,” he said.