- The leader of IPOB Nnamdi Kanu’s video where he campaigned in 2012 against disintegration of Nigeria has been released
- Kanu was arrested on October 15, 2015, over treasonable charges
- He was later released on April 28, 2017, after spending almost two years in detention
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to January 1970. It took its name from the Bight of Biafra, the Atlantic bay to its south.
The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Other ethnic groups that constituted the republic were the Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno and the Ijaw among others.
The secession of the Biafran region was the primary cause of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War. The state was formally recognised by Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Zambia.
After two-and-a-half years of war, during which over three million Biafran civilians died from starvation caused by the total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government, Biafran forces under the motto of "No-victor, No-vanquished" surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG), and Biafra was reintegrated into Nigeria.
NAIJ.com gathered that in 2012, Nnamdi Kanu along some Nigerians staged a peaceful protest against separation of Nigeria and he became an avid campaigner against those determined to "tear Nigeria apart".
He said: “The reason we are here today is to protest against the killing of innocent women and children all over Nigeria, especially in the northern part of the country. We are not happy, we are not pleased with what is happening and that is why we are here today as you can see, there are lots of Nigerians and we protesting about the killing of families, people who are determined to tear the country apart and it is not something we support and it is not something we like to see to continue.
“We are today to tell Nigerian government that we cannot accept what is happening. If it does continue, it will lead to violence in the country, there will be no Nigeria for anybody to go, there will be no Nigeria for anyone to refer to and what is happening in Somalia today will be a tea party, so cannot allow this nonsense to continue, something has to be done.
But in 2015, Nnamdi Kanu suddenly became a leading member of one of several Biafran separatist organizations, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the director of a London-based radio station Radio Biafra.
He was arrested on treason charges in Lagos on 14 October, 2015 and was detained in a Nigerian jail without trial for more than a year-and-a-half, despite various court orders that ruled for his release.
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When in court, Kanu appeared regularly wearing a Jewish prayer shawl and head covering. He said in court that he "believes in Judaism" and considers himself a Jew. On 28 April 2017 Kanu was released from prison on bail.
NAIJ.com had previously reported that the former president Olusegun Obasanjo said that Nigerians must do everything possible to stop the agitation for Biafra led by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Watch this video of exclusive talk with Nnamdi Kanu on Biafra agitation: