Nnamdi Kenny Okwu Kanu, or simply known as Nnamdi Kanu, is a Nigerian political activist based in the United Kingdom. He is the leader of one of the several Biafran separatist organizations, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and the director of London-based radio station, Radio Biafra.
Nnamdi Kanu was born into the family of a traditional ruler in Abia State, sometime in the 1970s, the first of five children and the first son of his father. To many Nigerians, Nnamdi Kanu is a trouble maker, while many Biafran supporters believe he is their hero and leader.
Nnamdi Kanu was born in Isiama Afara, Abia State, Nigeria, into the family of HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) and Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu. He attended Library Avenue Primary School (now part of Government House, Umuahia) and went to Government College for his secondary education. Later, Nnamdi Kanu gained admission to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), but was forced to leave for Europe, in order to finish his studies, following delays occasioned by incessant strikes by the university’s academic and non-academic staff.
Nnamdi Kanu is married to Uchechi Kanu and on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016, while still in detention, their union was blessed with a baby boy who was delivered at an undisclosed hospital.
Interests In Biafra
Being an individual who has a voracious appetite for historical books, Nnamdi Kanu knows so much about the history of Nigeria. Having discovered that the various ethnic groups and tribes in Nigeria are of different cultures, religions, beliefs and different understanding of life, he believes that every Nigerian ethnic group is different in every way, and are not meant to be together as a distinct nation.
Also, believing his people, the Igbo tribe, are marginalised by the federal government of Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu took interest in fighting for a Biafra nation for the Igbo people.
According to Nnamdi Kanu’s father, Kanu finally decided to fight for Biafra by himself after it was discovered that Ralph Uwazuruike (former leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of Biafra), was allegedly collecting money from the government, in the name of the pro-Biafra struggle, to enrich himself and develop his estate, but not helping his members and followers, most of whom were very poor.
Nnamdi Kanu did not like that and spoke out, but Uwazuruike felt he was challenging him and decided to fight him.
Nnamdi Kanu’s rise to fame and popularity started in 2015 when he was arrested in his hotel room at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS). Nnamdi Kanu’s solicitors in a press briefing said between 14th and 17th October, 2015, their client’s whereabouts were unknown until 18th of October, 2015, when the Press Media broke the news of his arrest and detention by the SSS in Abuja.
The news of the arrest of Mr Kanu led to a mass protest across different parts of the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones.
On October 19, 2015, it was reported that Mr Namdi Kanu had been granted bail after a secret arraignment at Magistrate Court, Wuse 11. However, the bail seemed “controversial” and there were claims the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”.
Although the bail conditions were stringent, Mr Kanu’s lawyer said they eventually met the requirements in full. However, upon the issuance of the Form 36, the court ordeal went to execute the order but came back unsuccessful. He was unable to produce the prisoner. The lawyer, Vincent Obetta, called Nnamdi Kanu’s continued detention despite meeting his bail conditions “a clash between judiciary and executive” in a democratic Nigeria.
Kanu was finally arraigned on November 23, 2015 in an Abuja Magistrate Court for the first time for charges of “criminal conspiracy, intimidation and membership of an illegal organisation by Nigeria’s DSS and has remained in detention since then amidst many controversies.