Emma Powerful, the spokesperson for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has criticized the ongoing detention of Nnamdi Kanu, stating that it is unconstitutional.
Powerful argued that self-determination is a legal right, supported by both United Nations laws and the Africa Union Charter.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the IPOB spokesperson praised the governors of Anambra and Enugu states, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Dr. Peter Mba, respectively, for their demand for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the pro-Biafran movement.
The pro-Biafran group also expressed appreciation for the support of individuals such as Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and Kanayo O. Kanayo, who have voiced their opinions in favor of Kanu’s release.
Powerful said, “We wish to commend people like Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mba, Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, Barr. Kanayo .O. Kanayo, and others for their persistent calls for the release of Kanu from detention.
According to IPOB’s spokesman, the indigenous people have an inherent right to pursue their own political, economic, cultural, and social future, stating that Kanu was unlawfully abducted in Kenya, forcibly taken to Nigeria, and held in solitary confinement for two years due to his request for a Biafra referendum supervised by the United Nations.
“In Nigeria today, Kanu remains the only political prisoner held unconstitutionally in custody without charge because he is an Igbo man. The main reason for his persecution and illegal incarceration is because he is fighting for the freedom and wellbeing of his people.”
The group accused the Federal Government of showing hostility and contempt towards the Ndigbo by keeping their leader in custody. According to the statement, the Ndigbo are now a vulnerable group that is discriminated against, targeted, and killed by security forces.
“The Federal Government has demonstrated hatred and disdain against Ndigbo by illegally holding onto this Igbo illustrious son without charge. Kanu and other IPOB members in various detentions even after the Nigeria courts have ordered their release are still being held without explanation from the Federal Government.
“The same Federal Government criminalised the IPOB leader and members for peacefully seeking to chat a political future for Biafrans as enshrined in UN and African Union Charters. Who beats a child and stops him from crying? Who does that?”
Powerful further said that Nigeria has become an outcast state due to its animosity towards the Ndigbo and its irrational fear of an autonomous and independent Biafran nation.
He emphasized that their demand for a referendum is not up for negotiation, and the Federal Government should initiate a discussion on a referendum date and terms as soon as possible.
“If after referendum Biafrans vote ‘yes’ to exit Nigeria, Biafra and Nigeria can still be good neighbors. Our request for the independent state of Biafra is not out of hatred for others but for self-preservation and reclamation of racial dignity.”