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Nigeria: Pro-secession group restructured, leader dismissed

The runaway leader of pro-secession group, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has been dismissed and accused of fleecing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Reports say he has been replaced with Mr. Ezenwachukwu Sampson Okwudili.

The pirate radio of the groups which returned to air said that Kanu has also been sacked as the Director of the Radio. The radio’s programme started with the lady announcer who gave her name as Miss. Ifeoma Okorafor. She stated that the radio was back on air and IPOB was restructuring and announced the dismissal of Kanu.

Kanu has not been seen publicly since he fled Abia State after the military raided his family compound some months back. The reasons the Radio Biafra announcer gave for Kanu’s removal included his alleged personalization of the Biafran struggle and derailing from the core objectives of IPOB as a grassroots movement. He was also accused of inciting members of IPOB towards violence leading to the death of many innocent young people in Onitsha, Aba and Umuahia, an action IPOB said was “totally unacceptable and grossly irresponsible’’.

Southeastern Nigeria is home to the Igbos, one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups. Many Igbos say the predominantly Muslim Hausa-Fulani people of northern Nigeria dominate the federal government and marginalize the largely Christian Igbos.

An attempt to carve an independent Biafra out of the southeast in 1967 triggered a civil war that killed nearly one million people.

Igwe Christopher Ejiofor is a traditional Igbo king who fought on the Biafran side in that war. He said IPOB has legitimate grievances, but that its approach is wrong.

“Nnamdi Kanu expressed something that is not stamped and approved by the Igbo people as a whole. In political terms, no governors, no elders, no statesmen, no high profile Igbo politician have said that they are in support of Nnamdi Kanu or that they want Biafra to be declared,” Ejiofor said.

Many Igbos say they do not want to repeat history. But many of them have also condemned the government’s deployment of troops in the southeast every October.

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