3 February 2019

Nigeria: Why I 'Ran Away' From Nigeria - Nnamdi Kanu

Photo: Premium Times
Nnamdi Kanu speaking in Abakaliki.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has explained why he ran away and remained in exile since September 2017 when the army raided his residence in Abia State.

"I ran away because Jubril (President Muhammdu Buhari) sent the military to my house to come and kill me and they expected me to stay and confront them. I'm unarmed just as IPOB members are unarmed group," Nnamdi Kanu said in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored on its Facebook page.

He was responding to his critics who mock him for running away and abandoning his followers in Nigeria.

The live broadcast is his second after he resurfaced in a video that trended last October showing him in Israel.

Mr Kanu has been at the vanguard of the call for an independent Biafra Republic from the Nigerian state through a referendum.

The IPOB leader, who is facing charges of treasonable felony at the Federal High Court in Abuja, had called for a boycott of elections in Anambra in November 2017 if the government failed to set a date for a referendum.

The call for a boycott failed as thousands participated in the election.

Last September, two months before the Anambra election, a clash occurred between IPOB members and soldiers when the military commenced an operation in South-east states.

Since then, Mr Kanu's whereabouts remained unknown until his reappearance in an online video.

Mr Kanu in Saturday's broadcast said he fled to Israel because it is the safest place for him to stay alive and achieve his dream of a Biafra republic.

"I want to ask those that criticise me about what they have done in their life," the separatist leader said.

"Did you know that Nelson Mandela ran to Nigeria for safety during his time?

"No one in Nigeria has done what I have done. I came home and I confronted the army, I went to their court, I was unlawfully detained, I went home, conducted a rally and they sent their army to come and kill me.

"Nnia Nwodo, Okezie Ikpeazu, Obiano, and Umahi were the ones that signed and brought the army to kill me.

"Yes, I fled to Israel because it is the safest place for me and I needed to stay alive and achieve Biafra republic. Tell those who said that I ran away to read their history book, they will find out that all the popular human rights activists, both dead and alive, ran away when it's the best time to."

The IPOB leader also reiterated his call for a boycott of the February 16 elections, calling on all "Biafrans" to sit at home on election day.

"By voting, all you are doing is perpetuating the misery of our people.

"To vote in the zoo means to endorse 1999 fraudulent constitution. By voting, all you are doing is perpetuating the misery of our people."

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