A male IPOB member who ran commentary on the video said that the IPOB leader went to the synagogue in Jerusalem to pray…
Enyeribe Ejiogu, Onyedika Agbedo (Lagos), Magnus Eze (Enugu), Okey Sampson (Aba), Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha and Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Fresh facts have emerged why the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, whose whereabouts had not been known for about 13 months, resurfaced through a video clip that went viral on the social media and showing him praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel on Friday.
When the smoke from the military operation cleared, nobody could categorically say what became of the IPOB leader and his parents, whether they were dead or alive. Speculations became rife as to what really happened to them. But all that began to clear up when Kanu was spotted in Jerusalem on Friday. A male IPOB member who ran commentary on the video said that the IPOB leader went to the synagogue in Jerusalem to pray and collect power from God preparatory to the conduct of a referendum by the Biafra separatist group.
However, phone calls placed to some people in Nigeria by Kanu yesterday seem to give conflicting accounts on what he plans to do when he eventually returns home.
One of those Kanu spoke to, former Minister of Aviation and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, whom expressed delight that the IPOB leader called him told Sunday Sun that when he spoke with him, he gave indications that he would collaborate with him and other Nigerians to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election.
Fani-Kayode who was reluctant to disclose much of what he discussed with Kanu, however, said: “What I am prepared to say is that he spoke with me and I believe that he was speaking to me from Israel. I also know that we agreed on certain course of action in terms of trying to create the best environment in Nigeria for our people. We also agreed that we would get Buhari out. I sincerely hope, and I think this is the best way to put this, that he will join me and millions of other Nigerians to vote Buhari out. I’m hoping he will join in that and I believe that at the end of the day he may do that.
“One thing about Nnamdi Kanu is that he is totally committed to his cause. He is somebody that is focused and clear about what he wants; and what he wants is the establishment of a sovereign state of Biafra. But before you can even begin to talk about self-determination, restructuring or a functional democracy, you must get this tyrant out of power. And it is in that context that I said that we have agreed to work together to get Buhari out. We all have our different objectives, but as long as Buhari is there, nobody will be able to make any progress; nobody will be able to negotiate anything, discuss anything. And discussing, negotiation and understanding our sensitivity is parts and parcel of freedom and democracy. And as long as Buhari is there, none of us is going to achieve any of these objectives about a free society whereby we can express ourselves and try to come to some kind of understanding about how to move the country forward.”
But in a swift reaction, Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor and his deputy, Alphonsus Uche Okafor-Mefor, debunked the statement credited to Chief Fani-Kayode that he has agreed with Kanu to vote out President Buhari in 2019.
Ejimakor in a statement made available to Sunday Sun, said that though Kanu spoke with Fani-Kayode yesterday, he never discussed issues concerning 2019 general elections.
“As Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Special Counsel, he has been frequently speaking with me from his location in Israel in the past few days.
“I want to make it abundantly clear to all that Nnamdi Kanu’s brief chat with Chief Fani-Kayode earlier today (yesterday) did not include anything close to agreeing to ‘work together with Fani-Kayode to vote out Buhari”, Ejimakor said.
In another statement, IPOB’s deputy leader, Okafor-Mefor said: “Our attention has been drawn to some deceptive and crude tactics employed by some politicians to drag the name of our leader, Nnamdi Kanu to the mud by suggesting that he held talks with such politicians to oust Muhammadu Buhari.
“We want to use this medium to state unequivocally that at no time did Nnamdi Kanu reached
any agreement with any politician to participate in Nigerian politics. Consequently, any publication not authorised by our leader, his deputy or by the Head Directorate of State regarding IPOB and/or our leader is pedestrian and null and void. Nnamdi Kanu is on a divine mission to restore Biafra and the resolve behind this restoration project remains irrevocable, sacrosanct and irreversible.”
However, the President, Igbo Youth Movement and Secretary General of Eastern Consultative Assembly, Elliot Ugochukwu-Ukoh, who said that Kanu also called him on the phone yesterday gave a different version of what the IPOB leader intends to do.
His words: “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu called me this morning (yesterday) and briefed me on goings on, including his travails of the past 13 months. He told me he called a few other persons as well. He thanked all and assured of his total commitment to the struggle for the freedom of his people.
“He said he has recovered fully and is now in good health. He promised, as already known by all and sundry, that he and his group remain completely apolitical. He maintains that they have no interest whatsoever in partisan politics and pleads with politicians trading with his name and that of his organisation, to back off.
“He pointedly told me that they have no business whatsoever with both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He insists he remains relentlessly apolitical and warns those hoping to hustle with his name to back down now.”
Ugochukwu-Ukoh also revealed that Kanu would officially thank all the people who have supported the cause of IPOB, when he makes a statement on Radio Biafra London by 6:00 p.m. today.
Meanwhile, while the euphoria elicited among Kanu’s followers by his appearance in Israel is yet to abate, his family has come with extra cheering news that their son would soon be in Nigeria.
Making the disclosure to Sunday Sun on phone, Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, said: “Yes, he is coming, he is coming back to Nigeria soon, he is coming back to his fatherland, Biafra.”
When asked whether his elder brother’s return to Nigeria would not cause the military to invade their home again bearing in mind the military is set for another round of ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the Southeast, he said: “They invaded his house and almost killed him the last time he was in Nigeria and whatever transpired between then and now, the public know better, but what I know is certainly he must come back to his fatherland. Of course, it will not be the first invasion, maybe this time around if and when they invade, the Python will agree it actually invaded.”
When reminded that his brother has a pending case in court, which may lead to his being rearrested, Emmanuel retorted: “I may not say for now, you know, of course, he has to come back to his fatherland, he has to come back home.”
He said that his family would make adequate arrangements to receive the IPOB leader when he comes back, saying, “yes, we are preparing to receive him, but we are yet to organize things and, therefore, I will not be in the position now to tell the shape the reception will take. But definitely he will come back home. Mark my word.”
The younger Kanu picked holes with the advice of Ohanaeze which urged IPOB members to sheath their swords now that Nnamdi has been seen. “What did they mean by that, has there been any war? What we are asking for is referendum, we are not asking for war. For now, their advice is uncalled for because all these while they have made no attempt to seek or to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu and what has happened to him. They have not issued any statement to condemn the invasion of his home as well, so, why are they talking now? Is it because Nnamdi Kanu has resurfaced? IPOB should not take the advice because their leader remains the stone that was rejected that has become the chief corner stone, so, everybody is clamouring for Nnamdi Kanu whereas when his house was invaded, nobody said a word, they supported the Federal Government. So, how come Nnamdi Kanu has started to be their son?” he queried.
With the reappearance of Kanu, IPOB said that the quest for the restoration of Biafra has gathered momentum as the group would not relent in pursuing hard for total freedom in the near future, advising their members to be resolute and committed to towards the fight to free the people from the bondage. The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, in a statement said that “Kanu and other reputable and hardcore Biafrans would leave no stone unturned to restore Biafra sovereignty” from the hands of those holding Biafrans down.
In a related development, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) has appealed to President Buhari to grant presidential pardon to Kanu.
OYC in a statement signed by its President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and his deputy, Obinna Achionye, also appealed to the president to order for the withdrawal of all legal cases against him in the spirit of national reconciliation.
The statement read in part: “We urge President Buhari to grant him presidential pardon and quash all legal proceedings against him in the spirit of national reconciliation and forgiveness.
“If the Federal Government can release Boko Haram detainees in Kano and planning to give amnesty to Boko Haram, this gesture should be extended to IPOB. They should reverse the tagging of IPOB as a terrorist organization and allow peace to reign.
“We beg the IPOB followers not to go to the street now in jubilation in order not to create political tension in the Southeast and South-South so as not to fall victims of security agents’ clampdown until OYC persuades the Federal Government to reverse its decisions against IPOB.
“We urge the Southeast governors to close ranks and rebuild the palace of HRH Eze I. Kanu, which was destroyed during the Python Dance, and ask the leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to change strategy and embrace the hands of genuine Igbo brothers and leaders.
“We still ask IPOB to have a rethink on its decision to proscribe the parent body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and disruption of Ohanaeze events and gatherings.
“OYC will lead any struggle to ensure self determination that is not tagged terrorism, and ensure there is peaceful coexistence between all stakeholders in Southeast.”