Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) charged on Wednesday that its leader Nnamdi Kanu was ‘abducted’ by the Nigerian government.
IPOB made the allegation in a statement released by its spokesman Emma Powerful.
It said it would soon expose details of the abduction.
However it went on to say in another statement that Kanu was abducted in Kenya, quoting Kanu’s brother.
There has been no official confirmation about where Kanu was “intercepted”.
While P.M. News sources said it was in Czech Republic, some other reports indicated Brazil and yet another said it was in Ethiopia.
Whichever, what was clear was that Kanu was not intercepted in the UK, where he is a citizen and resides, but lured away, captured and brought to Nigeria.
IPOB charge of abduction of its leader has brought back the memories of the 1984 botched kidnap attempt from UK of the former transport minister, Alhaji Umaru Dikko.
He was abducted in front his home in Bayswater London in 1984, by Israeli agents, working in cahoot with Nigerian intelligence officers.
After Dikko was abducted, he was drugged, handcuffed and embedded in a crate to be shipped to Nigeria from Stansted Airport.
Dikko, like Nnamdi Kanu was wanted then by the military government of Muhammadu Buhari.
Thirty-eight years after, Buhari also desperately wanted Nnamdi Kanu.
At the airport, the human cargo was labelled as a diplomatic bag, but a customs officer suspected something was fishy after Scotland Yard issued an alert that a Nigerian kidnapped at Bayswater might be smuggled out.
The British customs, blocked the ‘diplomatic cargo’, called in the police. And inside the crates were not just Umaru Dikko, but an Israeli anaesthetist.
The kidnap was spectacularly foiled.
Britain arrested all those involved, tried and jailed them.
When the attorney-general Abubakar Malami spoke on Tuesday, he did not indicate where Kanu was ‘intercepted’, whether extradition proceedings was initiated anywhere to send Kanu to Nigeria.
And indeed there could not have been any extradition hearing as he captured on Sunday and then shipped secretly to Nigeria same day.
The ‘interception’ reeked like an abduction, like Dikko’s case in 1984. It was history repeating itself, except that the abduction was carried out successfully this time by ‘Nigerian security agents’.
IPOB claim may open a new round of diplomatic crisis for Nigeria, especially between the UK and Nigeria, as Kanu is a UK citizen.
“We the global movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, confirm the abduction of our Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, by the Nigerian government and her security operatives. We shall expose details of his abduction later,” Powerful said in a statement today.
“We remind the Nigerian government and her security agencies that our Leader deserves justice and fair hearing. We also want to state unequivocally, that no harm should befall our leader. Should anything untoward happen to him, the Nigerian government will be held accountable for it.”
Kanu, a former fugitive, who jumped bail, now faces an 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matters, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods.
The trial will start 26 July.
NOTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO OUR LEADER, IPOB TELLS FG
We the global movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, confirm the abduction of our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian Government and her security operatives. We shall expose details of his abduction later.
Our leader Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is presently in the custody of the Nigeria Government. This evil crime of kidnapping was masterminded by the Nigeria Government in collaboration with all those that view IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as stumbling block against their bid to hold Biafra in perpetual slavery.
We, therefore, enjoin every IPOB member both at home and in the Diaspora and all Biafrans to remain calm because this is not the end of the road. Our Leader’s next court appearance is July 26, 2021 and Biafrans should mobilize and attend the court hearing.
IPOB will not relent in the pursuit of Biafra freedom. We have crossed the Rubicon in our struggle for the restoration of Biafran Sovereignty. There is no going back no matter the level of intimidation by our oppressors.
Our Leader can never be coerced into abandoning the struggle for Biafra restoration irrespective of the circumstance. At this very challenging moment in the history of our march to freedom, all IPOB family members must stand firm and resolute behind our selfless leader. We stand by him and the God of Heavens in whom we trust and rest our confidence shall not let us down. We shall triumph!
We remind the Nigeria government and her security agencies that our Leader deserves justice and fair hearing. We also want to state unequivocally, that no harm should befall our leader. Should anything untoward happen to him, Nigeria Government will be held accountable for it.
We are watching closely and all our intelligence units, are following up on the developments. The international community should not be quiet over the atrocities of the Nigeria Government against Biafrans. They must rise in defense of justice now!
COMRADE EMMA POWERFUL MEDIA AND PUBLICITY SECRETARY FOR IPOB