- IPOB leader seen praying in Jerusalem, says brother
By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may have been unraveled, eventually, as his family, yesterday, claimed that he has been seen in Israel.
Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel in a phone chat with journalists claimed that a video allegedly posted by one Castro Nkume had been confirmed to be authentic, stating that the deputy director of IPOB, Uche Ejiofor affirmed that the leader of IPOB was indeed captured in the video while praying in Jerusalem.
However, he did not reveal the exact date some pictures of Kanu that have gone viral, were taken and why it took the IPOB leader this long to make a public appearance since September 14, 2017 when he disappeared, following the military invasion of his father’s palace at Isiama Afaraukwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.
Kanu’s whereabouts has become a subject of a court case, as the former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kanu was sued for claiming that the IPOB leader was in London. Not only that, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who signed the bail bond for Kanu in his treason trial, was asked by Justice Binta Nyako to produce Kanu or forfeit the N100 million bail bond.
Meanwhile, the people of Afaraukwu Ibeku have demanded the return of their traditional ruler, Eze Israel Kanu and his wife Ugoeze Sally, who equally disappeared the same day their son, Kanu was last seen when troops stormed the palace of Egwukwu II to dislodge IPOB members.
Kanu’s kinsmen, who appeared to be more concerned about the fate of the IPOB leader’s father, have warned against any attempt to politicise the whereabouts of their paramount ruler and the efforts being made to bring him back from wherever he is.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had promised a delegation of Afaraukwu Ibeku community that paid him a courtesy visit last week that he was going to liaise with his fellow Southeast governors to engage the federal government to locate and bring back the missing royal father before December.
But the people of Afaraukwu told journalists yesterday that they were worried that some politicians in Abia were trying to play politics with the governor’s promise to return their traditional ruler to his palace.
The President-general of Afaraukwu Development Union (ADU), Chief Emeka Ezebuiro, who addressed journalists on the outcome of the stakeholders’ meeting of the entire Afaraukwu community, said that the people want their monarch back to his palace.
At the press conference were royal fathers of the component autonomous communities that make up Afaraukwu, namely Eze Eddy Ibeabuchi (Okwu I of Okwulaga) and Eze Phillip Ukaegbu (Enyi I of Enyiukwu), as well as the presidents of the autonomous communities, including Livinus Ogbonna of Okwulaga.
Ezebuiro said that some Abia politicians have manifested high level of insensitivity by trying to score political points through an attack on Ikpeazu for promising to bring back Eze Kanu, adding that it was at the request of the of Afaraukwu delegation that the governor promised to assist in bringing back the missing monarch.
The politicians, he said accused Ikpeazu of colluding with the federal government to launch Operation Python Dance II at the palace, leading to the destruction of lives and property, as well as the disappearance of Eze Kanu, his wife, Sally and son Nnamdi, the IPOB leader.
“We wish to state that our people have never accused Governor Ikpeazu of masterminding the attack on our community as we were privy to the efforts he made to stave off the attack (Operation Python Dance II), as well as his exemplary post-crisis management efforts,” Ezebuiro said.
He added that “it is on record that Governor Ikpeazu resisted sundry pressures to dethrone” the paramount ruler of Afaraukwu Ibeku, noting that the Abia governor had “publicly maintained that the traditional ruler never committed any offence contrary to the laws of the Nigeria.
“We wish to call on politicians and their hirelings to desist from meddling in our matter for cheap political gains. Our people know those who stood with us without making political noise and those who plotted against us in the night and now want to make political profit out of our misfortune,” the Afaraukwu PG stated.