There are viral reports that the Nigeria Military has blocked entrances to the hometown of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, less than 48 hours to the burial of Kanu’s parents.
Recall that Kanu’s father, Eze Israel Kanu and mother, Ugoeze Sally Kanu died in 2019 barely two years after their home was invaded by the Nigeria military. Eze Kanu died in December 2019, four months after losing his wife. He was the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Umuahia community till his death.
The invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s community by the military is often blamed for the death of Kanu’s parents. The embattled IPOB leader was nowhere to be found since the invasion and remained in exile in the United Kingdom where he manages his Radio Biafra media outlet.
After a series of news that he may attend his parents’ burial, latest stories indicate that Kanu who was released from the custody of the Department of State Services on bail in 2017, is not planning to come anywhere close to Nigeria. However, ‘The Cable’ reported that he plans to broadcast the burial of his parents live.
Besides Kanu’s inability to attend his parents’ burial, Ene Okon, Abia commissioner of police, has declared that the funeral would not take place if IPOB members attempt to attend it, hence, the reported deployment of the military.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Amnesty International in Nigeria, the military deployed in the community have been harassing the people of the community.
Amnesty International said it gathered from some persons that “they saw soldiers harassing people at Bank road while another man said he was prevented from going to his house by soldiers who blocked the road entrance to Eze Kanu’s palace”.
The statement read in parts: “The Nigerian security forces must exercise restraint and prevent a repetition of the September 2017 events that left at least 20 people killed and some still missing, when the military attempted to arrest Nnamdi Kanu in his home in Afara Ukwu.
“While law enforcement officers are within their rights to carry out their lawful duties, the use of force should be proportional and strictly limited to those situations where it is absolutely necessary. Both IPOB supporters and security forces must at all times respect and protect human rights of all.
“Concerns about possible violence during the funeral must be addressed within the framework of human rights and the rule of law.”
As it stands, all eyes are on Abia State to see how Friday, February 14, 2020 (the date scheduled for the burial of Kanu’s parents) will end.