247News: Biafra: IPOB Leader Kanu Apologizes To Buhari, Jonathan, Igbo elders


The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and founder of Radio
Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has expressed regret for referring to President
Muhammadu Buhari as a terrorist, evil and a paedophile in his radio
broadcasts. 

Kanu, who has been charged along with two others by the Federal
Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja on six counts of treason
and other ancillary offences, said he intended to write a private
letter to Buhari to express his apology to the President.

He also apologised to former President Goodluck Jonathan and Igbo elders for “some uncomplimentary things” he said about them.

The 48-year-old pro-Biafran agitation leader, who is, however,
unapologetic about his demand for a Republic of Biafra, has been in the
custody of the Department of State Services since his arrest in Lagos on
October 14, 2015.

He tendered the apology for his comment against Buhari and others in a statement which he made to the DSS on October 23.

The prosecution, in its summary of the case, alleged that in one of
the radio broadcasts by Kanu on August 1, 2015, he expressed his resolve
to actualise the Republic of Biafra and “cast aspersions on the person
and the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

The statement read in part, “Reference to the President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria as a terrorist, evil and a paedophile is
regrettable and uncalled for and for that, I unreservedly apologise and
will be doing so in a private letter to the President.

“Before PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) there was the administration
of Goodluck Jonathan. I also said uncomplimentary things about him and
Igbo elders as well, which I now recognise should not have happened
because it is un-African to be rude or insolent to elders.

“All I was trying to do is to draw attention to the problems afflicting society and something done about them.” Kanu, who described himself as a Nigerian and a British citizen, justified his agitation for a Biafra Republic.

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He said IPOB’s secessionist agenda was informed by the “incessant
hardship, lack of holistic development in the socio-economic landscape
of Nigeria, lack of youth employment, corruption in high offices and
economic regression.”

He added that the agitation by IPOB, which, according to him, was
founded in London in 2012 by a group of people from the South-South and
South-East regions of the country, was in line with the United Nations
Charter on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ratified by African
countries, including Nigeria.

In contrast to the counts of managing and assisting in the management
of an unlawful society preferred against Kanu and two others, the Radio
Biafra founder stated that IPOB, which the prosecution described as
unlawful, was registered with the UN to pursue the rights of the people
of Biafra.

He stated, “I can confirm that I, Nnamdi Kanu, is the leader of
Indigenous People of Biafra worldwide as a legitimately and duly
registered body at the United Nations pursuing the rights of a specific
indigenous people, in this case, Biafra, to seek self determination
according to the said charter.

“The reason for the formation of the Indigenous People of Biafra is
to avail those referring to themselves as Biafrans the opportunity made
available as a result of the United Nations declaration to seek the
peaceful rebirth of Biafra in line with international law.”

Kanu, who is a son of a traditional ruler in Abia State, Sir I.O.
Kanu, said he operated Radio Biafra, whose programmes “are designed to
wake up the public from its slumber and address the issues of the time”
because of his belief in free speech and freedom of expression.

He explained that the intended Biafra Republic comprised Enugu,
Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and
Delta states as well the Igbanke part of Edo State; Igala part of Kogi
State and Idoma/Igede part of Edo State.

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Apart from Kanu, one of the two other defendants in the six counts
filed by the Federal Government is a Field Maintenance Engineer, David
Nwawuisi, charged with the responsibility of maintaining MTN masts in
Enugu State.

The other defendant, Benjamin Madubugwu, was said to be living in the
Ubilisiuzo, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, where he
allegedly received custody of a container, housing transmitters, from
Kanu.

On December 23 during the accused persons’ appearance in court for
their scheduled arraignment, Kanu refused to take his plea due to what
he called his lack of confidence in the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed
Mohammed.

The judge promptly returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the
Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for reassignment to another
judge and the three accused persons were returned to the custody of the
Department of State Services.

The fresh charges were filed against the three men barely 24 hours
after Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in a ruling on Kanu’s bail application on
December 17, ordered his unconditional release from DSS custody having
been detained for about two months without any valid charges filed
against him.

The PUNCH had reported that the Federal Government had alleged that
transmitters for Radio Biafra, spreading secessionist agenda for carving
out Biafra region from Nigeria, were found to be installed on MTN masts
in Enugu and Anambra states between April and May 2015.

No new date has been fixed for the arraignment of the accused persons.

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