The leader of a Nigerian separatist group said the Nigerian government spurned the demands he made after he was released from prison over a year ago.
“I told them, that I want them to open Igweocha seaport, Port Harcourt,” Nnamdi Kanu, who leads the Indigenous People of Biafra, said in a message posted to Radio Biafra’s Facebook page on Sunday.
“I ask them to open Calabar seaport and Warri Seaport, I did this in writing and gave it to them, I told them to dredge River Niger, allow the direct international flight to Europe and USA from Enugu, Igweocha and Calabar airport.”
Kanu said he also demanded the release of former Nigerian security adviser Sambo Dasuki and the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and the investigation of “the mass murder of IPOB family members at Onitcha, Nkpor, Aba, Enugu, Igweocha, Umahia and Asaba.”
Kanu’s IPOB is pushing for an independent state for the Igbo-dominated southeastern Nigeria.
The region was locked in a civil war with Nigeria for about 30 months starting from 1967 after late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, then a colonel in the Nigerian Army, declared an independent Biafra.
Kanu, however, said he will drop his agitation only if the Southeast governors get him a concession.
“I told Igbo governors and Ohanaeze, ‘If you want me to drop the agitation for Biafra, please, go to Abuja and get me something,” a man claiming to be Kanu said in an audio clip posted to a SoundCloud account operated by Radio Biafra.
“Get me a concession. I will not drop Biafra until I get a concession.”
Kanu, a former real estate agent in London, is facing a sleuth of charges, most of which are connected to his call for the independence of the southeastern region of Nigeria.
He was first seen in the public in Jerusalem on October 18 after he went underground in September 2017 following the deployment of troops to the southeastern city of Umuahia. He said he left Nigeria because the court could not guarantee his safety.
His claims that he is currently in Israel have raised questions about how he was able to travel that far when his travel documents are still with the Nigerian government.
Although his lawyer Ifeanyi Ejiofor had earlier claimed that only the Nigerian government can explain the whereabouts of the separatist leader, he said in a statement earlier in the month that his client was the man shown in a video posted to Facebook.
“My client is the very person seen in the pictures/video. That I can confirm authoritatively,” Ejiofor said.
In a later message also posted to Radio Biafra’s Facebook, a man claiming to be Kanu said he was ready to bring “hell” to Nigeria.
But a Nigerian government spokesman said Kanu posed no threat to the country’s internal security.
“We see the re-enactment of his bizarre, episodic threat as a mere distraction which will not be allowed to detract from the existing cordial relationships between Nigeria and other countries,” said presidential spokesman Garba Shehu.