- The presidency has reacted to the reappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB
- Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari's media aide said that the development proves that Kanu was neither killed nor kidnapped by the military
- Shehu also said that if Kanu returns to the country, his trial will possibly be resumed
What seemed like a suspense to some was put to an end when the presidency on Tuesday, October 23, made its first statement in reaction to the reappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent People of Igbo (IPOB).
Garba Shehu, the media aid to President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke on the development in a recent interview with BBC.
“If it happens to be true, the video footage showing Mr Nnamdi Kanu; the truth has been revealed about his alleged assassination against Nigerian government,” Shehu said.
Kanu's disappearance started in 2017 after clashes between his supporters and soldiers ensued in a military exercise in Abia state.
A huge number of his supporters at the time claimed that the military had killed Kanu. His trial for felony was also stalled due to his absence as his lawyer insisted he was either killed or kidnapped by soldiers who attacked his family house during the military exercise.
However, in a video on Friday, October 19, Kanu, alongside his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said that he had since spoken to his client who apparently escaped out of Nigeria. Although the video showed him in Israel, the Israeli government has said Kanu had not entered the country recently and the video could be an old one.
Kanu later did a broadcast on Sunday, October 21, from his hideout, saying: “I have returned full-time and I’m coming back home I will bring hell with me.” He insisted on his group’s demand for a referendum for Igbos to determine if they want to be part of Nigeria or want a separate Biafran nation.
Speaking on Tuesday, Shehu said that the federal government was put under pressure on false accusations that Kanu had either been killed or kidnapped.
Shehu said: “This fairy tale went up to United Nations General Assembly where some IPOB members staged a protest accusing Nigeria government of kidnapping and even killing of Mr. Kanu.”
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He said now that Kanu has appeared, people will know who lied between the government and those that made accusations.
Asked what will happen if Kanu finally returns to Nigeria, the presidential aide said that his trial will possibly be resumed.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported that the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, had told the Igbo people to dismiss comments made by Kanu on Sunday, October 21.
Speaking in Owerri, Imo state capital, on Monday, October 22, Uwazuruike said that Kanu’s directive to the Igbo to boycott the 2019 elections except there is a referendum, was for his selfish gain.
Kanu resurfaced in Jerusalem, Israel after 13 months’ absence, saying he would come back to Nigeria to oversee the emergence of Biafra.
THE SCOOP: IPOB proscribed, Nnamdi Kanu vanishes, 2600 rifles from Turkey - Legit TV