– HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu called for the release of son by the federal government
– The father of Nnamdi Kanu said his son is fighting a just cause
– He wondered why Igbo leaders have not spoken out more in support of his son
HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu has condemned the silence of Igbo leaders over the issue of Biafra and the incarceration of his son insisting that they will leave their businesses on earth when they die.
Kanu was detained by operatives of the Department of State Service and charged to court for treason and related offenses.
The leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) has been agitating for the actualisation of an independent Biafra state and his father who is the Egwu Ukwu 11 of Afara Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia has said his son is fighting a just cause.
In an interview with The Sun, the Afara Ukwu, Ibeku monarch expressed surprise that Igbo leaders especially the Abia state government have failed to intercede for his son.
He applaude former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu for paying a visit to his son in detention dn also visiting him and described him as a man of the people.
He said apart from Kalu, no Igbo leaders have visited his son.
He said: “When I heard that the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu visited my son in prison in Abuja, I was happy. This projects him as someone who loves his people and development. He is a man of the people. The young man (Kalu) equally surprised me when he came to my palace during the Christmas and New Year break to see me.
We discussed so many things including moves he wants to make to get my son, Nnamdi released from prison and solicited my assistance in that direction. I told him that Nnamdi is strong-willed; that he would rather die in what he believes in. But all the same, he could go ahead and discuss with the Federal Government as my son will not have much to say while still in detention.
“Orji Uzor kalu I know is a man of the people as I said earlier and he is a go-getter; whatever he’s set to do, that he achieves. Having said that, if there is anything he knows he can do to get Nnamdi released from detention, I will support him. Mine is that my son should be released first and other things can follow, because he cannot be discussing from inside the prison.
“Apart from Kalu visiting me here in my palace, some white men had also visited and the first questions they always asked was whether I am the father of Nnamdi and I would tell them yes. They would also ask me my mind about the agitation my son is spearheading and I would tell them there was nothing wrong with that. Some of them, after explaining things would understand where we are coming from.
“I am surprised that apart from Orji Uzor Kalu, no other Igbo political leader has visited Nnamdi in prison and nobody is talking. I wouldn’t know if this could be attributed to fear. Some months ago, you heard of what happened at Aba where some people holding rally were shot dead and nobody said anything and this is not good. Even in their own reasoning, Nnamdi had not done the wrong thing, that shouldn’t have stopped them from visiting him and showing him brotherly love as Kalu did. Igbo leaders have not indeed shown commitment to the Biafra struggle. I do not know the reason for their action except that they are afraid of their investment outside Igboland, which they will not carry to their graves when they die.
“I am also worried to an extent that the Abia State government is also feeling indifferent about Nnamdi’s problem. As an Abian, one would have thought that the state government would have come out openly to say something, not to talk of visiting him in prison, but these things are not forth coming.”
It will be recalled that on January 15, 1970, the Biafra war which lasted for three years came to and end when Major General Phillip Effiong surrendered to Nigerian forces after Odumegwu Ojukwu, the leader of the secessionists fled to Ivory Coast.
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