The government of the United Kingdom has asked the government of Nigeria to state the whereabouts of British-Nigerian man and leader of the Indigenous Folks of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, saying “We would like urgent clarification from the Nigerian authorities about the status and whereabouts of Mr. Kanu, a British-Nigerian man, who has been reported missing since September 14, ” on Thursday
This came as the Defence Headquarters, Friday, declared that it does not know the whereabouts of IPOB leaders Nnamdi Kanu and asked citizens not to panic over hitherto October 1st deadline given the Igbo by a band of Northern youngsters to vacate the region, saying the threat was no more effective.
The DHQ which said unlike some reports, it didn’t raid the IPOB leader’s home, said it was not the place of the military to declare Kanu wanted.
The DHQ equally explained that it had been constrained to go a special military operations against the dreaded herdsmen because they were neither visible nor carry out their activities under an open or known group.
Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, who addressed the media at the Defence Headquarters, denied that Nnamdi Kanu was in military custody.
The uk Press Officer, to the high commission in Nigeria, Joe Abuku, stated that the inquiry followed reports that Kanu had been missing since September 14, 2017 when armed soldiers stormed his residence in Abia State.
Abuku said this in response to questions from Saturday PUNCH wanting to know UK’s concern on the missing IPOB leader.
“We are trying to find urgent clarification from the Nigerian authorities about the status and whereabouts of Mr. Kanu, a British-Nigerian man, who has been reported missing since September 14, ” Abuku stated in an email on Thursday.
On stripping of Nnamdi Kanu’s citizenship Abuku said: “One of the conditions that can make the United Kingdom strip its citizen of nationality is if the person partcipates in a terrorist activity in the home or abroad. And Kanu has dual citizenship and for that reason a citizen of Nigeria and the united kingdom, ”.
He also said: “The Native People of Biafra is not a proscribed organisation in the UK, ” the mission spokesperson stressed..
Abuku also said, “We do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not in mind for proscription. A decision to proscribe an organisation must be predicated on a belief that it is concerned in terrorism as defined in the Terrorism Act 2000, and it should be proportionate. ”
But the Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, who addressed the media at the Defence Headquarters, on Friday denied that Nnamdi Kanu was in military custody. ” Nnamdi Kanu is not in the custody of the military, ”he declared.
“The military didn’t proscribe IPOB. Due process was followed to proscribe it. The work of the military was to diagnose security problems and warned the public of consequences and that’s part of our media operations.
“We did our media operations perfectly, otherwise that weekend could have been the longest week-end in this country and we are also very careful choosing our words and we realize the law well, “he added.
He also denied that the military troops on Operation Python Dance raided Kanu’s home. Hear him: ” No body raided Kanu’s home and I stand to be justified, not from the info I got.
‘I was watching it live, I was monitoring it live and in addition speaking with them on the ground. “The people that arrived there that I saw were the Biafra security service and Biafra National Guard. ” I think I later confirmed that there is nothing to really justify them legally to mount roadblocks. I saw the militancy, nobody explained and I saw the action there. We are still investigating. ”
He spoke on the post military operations in the South East hence: ”For days gone by couple of days because the operation started, the feedback I have been getting from that place is that yes, they are happy.
“Some of them were actually afraid even before the operation started not from our troops but from the folks that we actually getting them fighting, people who are actually intimidating them. However now, they have a whole lot of relief. “We have our resources of information as information outfits of the armed forces.
We also get information from the general public using our own sources as a kind of checks and balances. ” Enenche said the country had not been militarized despite the position of some people. “Other countries passed through this, if you get into history, before getting to where they are as developed countries today. “Like in China, you see one policeman inside a car, you barely see a military man outside and this will depend on the developmental process and everything you passed through.
“That’s why in simple terms, I’ll tell you that people are not alarmed at all. “For example, the last terrorist attack in the UK, a day after the attack, the government asked the military to dominate the area. ” If great britain government can tell the military to take over, to back up the Police, I believe we are nearly 100 years old of amalgamation and we about 57 years old, it’s not out of place, “he stressed.
He expressed disappointment within the position of some legal practitioners on military involvement in the IPOD issue just as h said some of them got it right in his assessment of varied contributions to the issue.
“Of course, you will see competing demands on who’s to do what by the military, the executive, the legislature all of them are arms of the government plus they all have responsibilities, ”he said. ”The statement that came through me isn’t at par at all with what the principle of Army Staff arrived on the scene to clarify.
People had mindset plus they were In a rush to attack the military because of their mind-set and due to that it is a pity to state that somehow some people lost their reputation, ”he clarified.