Nigeria: IPOB - Nnamdi Kanu 'Calls-Off' Election Boycott

Nnamdi Kanu speaking in Abakaliki.
15 February 2019

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has suspended his call that Igbo's boycott the general elections.

Mr Kanu stated this on his Twitter handle Thursday evening. The tweet was also shared by IPOB on the Radio Biafra Facebook page.

"Having confirmed this evening that all our preconditions and terms have been met, signed, sealed and delivered; I hereby call-off the election boycott across Biafraland on Feb. 16, 2019", the IPOB leader who is on self-exile wrote.

"I dedicate this historic victory to the formidable #IPOB family worldwide."

The comment by Mr Kanu is coming few days after he had an exclusive interview with BBC Journalist, Chiagozie Mwomwu, where he reiterated IPOBs initial decision to shun the elections across "Biafra land," a term he uses for South-east Nigeria.

"We want to send a very clear and unmistaken message to humanity that we are serious about Biafra. We will lock Biafra down on the 16th to convey this message that

Biafra is all that we are seeking is all that we want not Nigeria... ", he was quoted as saying during the interview.

It is not immediately clear why Mr Kanu decided to suspend the boycott. He did not also give details of the "preconditions and terms" he said he had "confirmed" to be met.

During a recent live broadcast on Radio Biafra, Mr Kanu said the boycott can only be called off if the government "agrees to sign the documents given to them."

"Those pressuring me to call off the election boycott know what to do. Sign that document I gave to you and I will call off the election boycott, you know what the document contains."

Then, he did not also reveal what is contained in the "documents given to them."

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.

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 showing him praying in Israel 13 months after he disappeared.

His call for boycott of the elections has been condemned by Igbo leaders including the Ohaneze Ndigbo, an Igbo soci-political group.

Nigeria's presidential and federal parliamentary elections hold on Saturday. State elections hold two weeks later on March 2.

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