Nigerian separatist leader resurfaces in Israel

Missing Nigerian separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has resurfaced in Israel one year after soldiers stormed his home in the southern Abia state. “I’m in Israel,” Mr Kanu said on Sunday in a broadcast on his outlawed pirate radio station – Radio Biafra. A video of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) leader praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem has also been shared online. Some reports had said that Mr Kanu was being detained after the 2017 raid. His wife, Uchechi Kanu, told the BBC in February that she believed the government knew where her husband was being held after his home was raided by soldiers. In 2015, Mr Kanu was charged with “criminal conspiracy, intimidation and membership of an illegal organisation” – charges that could amount to treason. He was released on bail last year after spending more than a year-and-a-half without trial on treason charges. What has he done? Mr Kanu, who holds both Nigerian and British nationality, founded the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) in 2014 to push for a breakaway state of Biafra. The plan is not new. In 1967 Igbo leaders declared a Biafran state, but after a brutal civil war, which led to the deaths of up to a million people, the secessionist rebellion was defeated. Mr Kanu is the latest in a line of ethnic Igbo activists taking up the cause of pushing for an independent state. The Israel connection Mr Kanu said in Sunday’s broadcast that he was still pushing for a referendum to create a breakaway state in the south-east. He urged his followers to boycott next year’s elections in Nigeria unless the government agrees to the the push for a referendum. “Ipob will liberate Biafra and we will not take part in any elections until we get a referendum, it is not negotiable, we will do it by any means,” he added. “I will be back soon in the land of Biafra and I will bring hell with me,” he said. “I owe my survival to the state of Israel,” he added, saying that he had been aided by Mossad, country’s spy agency, without elaborating how he was assisted. It is unclear how Mr Kanu was able to get to Israel, as he had to surrender his Nigerian and British passports after his arrest.

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Source: BBC]]>