Residents and Indigenes of Abia State have expressed mixed feelings over the arrest and subsequent re-arraignment of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government.
Our correspondent who monitored the mood of the state and Afaraukwu community (Country home of the leader of IPOB) in Umuahia North Local Government Area of the state reports that while business and economic activities where going on without any hitch, it was however gathered that the news about the re-arrest and repatriation of Kanu to Nigeria came as rude shock to some of his kinsmen and supporters.
Though there were reports that men in plain clothes suspected to agents of the federal government were spotted around Kanu’s family community in the early hours of today, the place was however quiet when our reporter visited the Afaraukwu community, except some residents of the community seen in small cluster, apparently discussing about Kanu’s arrest.
Other respondents said that it was not a shock for them as it was a long anticipated move by the federal government.
Others claimed that the arrest of Kanu couldn’t have been unconnected to President Muhammadu Buhari’s planned medical trip to London at the weekend, which was canceled at the 11th hour and shifted indefinitely.
An IPOB member who didn’t want to be mentioned said “Kanu knows that his arrest will not take away anything for us. We have been prepared for what to come.
“We have said over time that IPOB is bigger than Kanu. The arrest and re-arraignment of Kanu has strengthened our resolve towards the actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra which is just around the corner.
“Kanu, being a prophet that he is in one of his broadcasts, told the world that he is going to come back to Nigeria to announce the freedom of Biafra. He stated in the broadcast that he will not be outside Nigeria to declare freedom for Biafrans.
“We didn’t know that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari would help to fast track the process. However it is going to come, that will no longer be needful. Now that our leader is back to Nigeria through the efforts of the Nigerian government, what we are waiting for is the pronouncement and we will shock our doubters.
“Remember the case of Moses, who ran away from Egypt and was later sent back to Egypt to liberate the people of Israel? Kanu has been sent back to liberate us as we want to assure him that we are fully behind him and will carry out his instructions to the latter come rain, come shine.”
An Aba based lawyer, Barr. Emperor Ogbonna in an interview said “the fact is that it is very difficult most times to evade the long arms of the law.
“He (Kanu) was granted bail on some conditions and he broke the conditions of the bail. And he did not only broke the conditions of the bail, he continued doing those things that made him to be arrested and charged to court in the first place.
“Maybe if he had mellowed down, his situation might have been different but continuation of the same act for which he was standing trial, amounts to an affront to the Nigerian state.
“I know he is a British citizen and subject to British protection but I do not know the condition of which he was arrested and removed from Britain.
“Well, now that he is here, his trial will continue and with what happened to his lawyer Barr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, he will need a good lawyer to defend him.
“We are in for a long ride this time. I also think that the government should try to address some of the grievances of some people in the South East and know whether both the government and the some people in the South East who think that the South East is being marginalized can arrive at a middle course so that there can be harmony between the federal government and some aggrieved persons in the South East.
“Peace is needed in Nigeria at this time so that both development and economic prosperity can come to everyone concerned.”
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General of Uche Okwukwu led faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in a statement Tuesday described the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu the leader of IPOB as the beginning of the end of violent agitations in southeastern Nigeria and a lesson to others.
According to Isiguzoro, “deviation from the nonviolent agitations and wasting of the innocent blood of the Igbo youths contradicted what Igbos are known for, and self-determination should not be used for purposes of fortune and fame-seeking.”
He further stated that “Nnamdi Kanu’s refusal to adhere to the advice of Igbo leaders, Elders, and Political leaders is the outcome of what had befallen him.
“He made a lot of enemies, especially those that would have saved him and the Federal Government will never lose grip on him again. We don’t think that any Igbo leader will stick out his/her neck for him, his re-arrest will eventually bring peace and stability to the region and avert another civil war that was raging on.
“Federal Government should handle the situation carefully because his large followers of IPOB would resort to violent revolts, his trial should be strictly based on the laws of the land, they shouldn’t kill him because it will destabilize the entire country.”