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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Nnamdi Kanu’s family house deserted.

                     
The street where the country home of the leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is located in Afara Ukwu Community in Abia State, which used to be crowded like a market place is now deserted as passersby look left and right to be sure that no one is following them.

The last topic any resident wants to discuss with you is the issue of Nnamdi Kanu’s family as they are suspicious that you may be working under cover for security operatives who have the IPOB under their radar.

Those who summoned up courage to talk to Sunday Sun reporter did so on the condition of anonymity. None of them agreed to disclose his or her name as they were not sure of their safety if the information filtered into the ears of security operatives, who they alleged have made it a ritual to rush into their community from time to time to look for scapegoats.

“The last time they came here, it was a mere passerby who looked at the family house of Kanu that incurred their wrath and I am sure that the man will never pass through this place again,” Sunday Sun was told by a man who declined to be identified.

Another resident, a woman who tried to speak did that while walking as fast as her legs could carry her. “My brother, here, people live in fear as some of us who witnessed the invasion are still going through the trauma of what happened. It is not as if we are not bothered about the whereabouts of his parents, what can we do? Here, even if you are discussing it within the confines of your room, you still speak in hush-hush voice for fear that someone might be eavesdropping on you.

“These people are our flesh and blood and we still care about them, because if their son had succeeded, Afara people would have also become the first beneficiaries. It is unfortunate that some of us are condemning them because of the way things are today. I for one don’t know where they are, whether the military took them away or they ran away in that confusion. My brother, you needed to have witnessed what happened here. It was a war situation,” she said and quickly walked away.

The family house of Kanu looks like a place that has been abandoned for many years. The partially collapsed roofs of two big canopies located outside the perimeter wall indicate that they were probably damaged during the attack that took place there last year. Yet the canopies are doing their best to shield the two vehicles, a Sienna bus and car models, parked under them. It is believed that the vehicles belong to Kanu’s family.

 The dust raised by the invasion of the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on October 26, last year, has refused to settle, four months after the military raid.

The family of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the of Biafra agitation group, has remained consistent in accusing the army of taking away three key members of the family – their father and traditional ruler of Afara community, HRH (Eze) Israel Okwu Kanu, his wife, Ugoeze Kanu and Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader himself.

In a chat with Sunday Sun, spokesman of the family, Prince Emmanuel Kanu said: “We’ve been asking the military to produce my brother, Nnamdi, and our parents because since after the raid on our home, we’ve not seen or communicated with any one of them yet.  The military should provide them anywhere they are.

“As I speak with you, no one would really say if my parents are still alive because we’ve not seen nor heard from them ever since the invasion by the army. It is the hope of every family member that they are still alive because they did not do anything wrong to warrant their being killed. The hope that they are still alive of course is what is keeping other members of the family going till today.”

Kanu said members of the family have severally urged the military to release their parents and also the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to them whether dead or alive; including their mother’s boxes of clothes which the soldiers that invaded the compound allegedly took away. He demanded that the boxes be returned to the family.

He, however, regretted that each time they make the request, the army always deny having Kanu’s parents and the IPOB leader himself in their custody. Kanu accused the army of telling lies to deceive the people and the international community.

His words: “Each time we make the request, the army would come out to deny that they never arrested the monarch and his wife. But it should be noted that the Nigerian Army has been known as people that tell lies so much; they are full of lies all the time. When they kidnapped my brother in 2015, they lied about it until pressure came before they admitted and the DSS too.

“So, the same thing has happened again. The same thing that happened in the case of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has happened again. So, their duty is to unlawfully take people, keep them wherever suits them until they find out what to do with that person. So, I believe Nnamdi Kanu is still alive somewhere, but then, we expect them to produce him whether dead or alive.

“The other time we drew the attention of the international community about the military invasion of our home, the Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Buratai said that they never invaded our house until the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali said he authorized the invasion of our home which made it a little clearer to the wider world.”

Kanu said his father’s long absence is being felt both in Afara Ukwu and Abia State in general. “The Afara Ukwu community, my father’s subjects and his cabinet, they miss him so much, the executives of Isiama Afara Ukwu miss him too. In fact, the entire Ibeku and Abia State as a whole miss him so much.

“Particularly, Afara Ukwu people feel his absence much because he is the chief security officer of the community and you know what it means for him to have been away from his kingdom for this long, they miss his leadership and they miss the interaction with them so much.”

While urging IPOB members to remain very resolute and loyal to the leadership of the group, Kanu reiterated his call for the army to release his parents and brother, Nnamdi Kanu, whether dead or alive.
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