A former Governor of Abia state has revealed the exact location where IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu is currently hiding.
A former Governor of Abia state, astute businessman and prominent politician, Orji Uzor Kalu, has revealed to Punch where the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra is currently hiding after soldiers allegedly invaded his house in Afara.
Kalu said Nnamdi Kanu brought whatever is happening to him now upon himself for refusing to listen to the advice of Igbo elders.
Asked why he thinks the agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra cannot succeed and why he thinks what the Igbo should aim at now is to produce the president of Nigeria, he said: “The Igbo should strive towards producing a president in the Federal Republic of Nigeria instead of agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra. I was the governor (of Abia State) for eight years and the issue of Biafra came up then. It even became a serious issue at a time that I decided to lead (Ralph) Uwazurike to see (former) President (Olusegun) Obasanjo but the former president refused to receive him. I was then surprised that the same Obasanjo was advising President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with (Nnamdi) Kanu. That sounds very funny to my ears and I don’t believe that such statement could come from the respected elder statesman who once told me at the Villa that he will never engage in a dialogue with somebody who wanted Nigeria to break up.
There are so many federal roads in the eastern part of the country that are in serious dilapidated conditions but President Buhari has been fixing some of them now. If the immediate past government led by my brother and friend, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, had paid a little attention to the terrible infrastructure decay in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones, there won’t be any form of agitation in the first instance. Some of these people involved in the Biafran agitation are doing so out of frustration. Climate change had really dealt with most communities in the South-East leading to flooding and massive erosion. So, the Igbo should produce a leader that will fix the economic and infrastructural challenges affecting not only the Igbo but the entire Nigeria.”
Speaking about Nnamdi Kanu’s whereabouts and allegations that he was taken away by soldiers. He said:
“Kanu was not taken away by the military. Kanu went to Malaysia from where he travelled to the United Kingdom. Nnamdi Kanu is in London right now as we speak. He was not arrested by anybody. He left the country on his own. One of his relations has spoken to me and explained everything because I wanted to see him and talk to him wherever he was and see how I could meet some Federal Government officials on his issue. I also wanted to see ways of talking to the President about him, and find common ground but his family told me that he has left the country, unless they are lying to me. I believe, whether he had left the country or not, he is not with the military because I asked the Commander of the 14 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. A.K Ibrahim, who is a very fine and good soldier, well educated and dedicated, and he told me that they don’t know his whereabouts and I am sure, the Department of State Services have the same information. I also visited the commissioner of police and he said he didn’t know his whereabouts and that they are also looking for him.”
Asked about the whereabouts of Kanu’s parents, he added: “I don’t know. I visited them in December last year and I was not impressed with the discussion I had with the father and the mother because I expected them to have acted better. Since then, I have not visited them. I feel that they have not impressed me because they ignored my advice to them to talk to their son on the need to stay at home and avoid public outings. I said his people can continue to carry their flags around but that they should not disturb anybody again. They have a right to express themselves but that such rights should be within the limits of our constitution.
They have the right to carry Biafran flags but they should do so within the limits of the constitution. Once your activities are within the limits of the law, you are in order. You cannot carry Biafra flags and be stopping vehicles and smashing their windscreens. You cannot carry Biafra (flags) and be raping young girls, you also cannot carry Biafra (flags) and be assembling young men every day. These are people who have no job and after doing that, they will go and engage in kidnapping or they will go and do armed robbery while some will go and do other things to make money. Hunger is a very terrible thing. The traders in the market have warned them to stop the nonsense they are doing. Why should you be extorting money from people in the name of Biafra agitation? They are extorting money from people in the market against their will. If the federal and state governments continue to watch and allow all these things to continue, there will be chaos in the state. If Kanu had not proved stubborn but listened to advice and kept to the rules of the court, we won’t be where we are now.”
Explaining further about the role he played to stop the agitation and the south-east producing the President of the country, he said:
“Biafra as a concept can never die but I want a situation whereby it will exist in the minds of everybody as an ideological issue and not as a geographical expression. The real Biafra should be a concept for development, and economic growth through planting of more agricultural trees for commercial purposes. The concept of Biafra should be on how to achieve an empowerment strategy for our people. We need a Biafran agitation that will strengthen our industrial base and bring prosperity to Nigerians. It is difficult to talk about Biafra as a republic when the Igbo are living and have investments everywhere in Nigeria. If you go to Birnin Kebbi now, the Igbo are in the majority there after the aborigines; the same is the situation in Ogbomoso, Osogbo, Kafanchan and other major towns across Nigeria. So why are we agitating for a republic? God decided to create us as Nigerians so that we can derive strength from our diversity. The young men who are championing the Biafran republic have never heard the sound of a gun before.
I spoke with Nnamdi Kanu in the prison and gave him quality advice. I counselled him to embrace peace and agree with whatever terms that will set him free. I also warned him against allowing his boys to be displaying Biafra flags, coat of arms, organising parades, establishing secret security service, and mounting a guard of honour. I told him that by doing all these, his group had subdued the sovereignty of Nigeria and are therefore looking for trouble. No government on earth including the United States will allow any group to be championing the cause of dividing their country. I believe most sincerely that with the situation on ground today, majority of the Igbo do not agree on the issue of Biafra as a separate country. I have heard some elite, including professors who are saying that they want Biafra but they should know that there is no way such agitation can be achieved under the law. There is no section of the Nigerian constitution where you have restructuring. There is no section that spells out the process for dividing the country. All those things are alien to the constitution. If willingly, we want to talk about constitutional amendment, then people can bring up various issues. Today, the creation of Biafra Republic is not feasible. The (Indigenous People of Biafra) boys have the right to express themselves but they do not have any right to engage in destruction of property, raping women or setting up a Biafran intelligence service. No country will allow that to happen. I am an Igbo man before being a Nigerian and I have no regrets being an Igbo man. I have lived outside Igbo land so I understand Nigeria. I sincerely want to say and maintain what I have said earlier that Biafra as a country is not an issue now. The issue is for the Nigerian government to give us justice and fairness. When some Igbo people cry of marginalisation, I tell them that if they go to other parts of the country, the people there are also crying because the story is the same. There is a wall between the rich and the poor. We don’t have any war of dialect or language. The rich people should start having a human face so that we can move the nation forward.”
Speaking on what happened after he spoke to Kanu in prison on why he should consider stopping the agitation and allow Igbos continue as one in Nigeria, he said:
“I will not tell you a lie. Nnamdi Kanu did not agree with me at all on my views about his activities. I did most of the talking throughout the two hours and ten minutes that I stayed with him. I told him many stories about life especially some of the stories that the Ikemba Nnewi (Odimegwu Ojukwu) told me when he was alive and also explained lot of things to him based on my experience in life but didn’t agree with me. I had to cut short my journey when I heard what was happening between his boys and the military. I returned to the country on September 14 and came straight to Abia State on the 15th to make sure that we talked to the IPOB boys so that they would stop what they were doing and allow peace to reign.”