While some claim that Nnamdi Kanu and his high-ranking IPOB officials immediately went into hiding after the Nigerian Army declared the Biafra movement a militant terrorist organisation, others have alleged that the IPOB leader is being held by the military for unknown reasons.
However, authoritative military sources from the army headquarters, Abuja, and the 82 Division headquarters, Enugu State, which coordinates Operation Python Dance II, has disclosed that contrary to speculations, Kanu was neither arrested nor detained, according to the Punch.
“If you follow the trends of things, the army has not been talking about a proscribed group. If someone says he does not know where Kanu is, who gave him the authority to file a motion against the army?
“We don’t want to be drawn into this propaganda. For goodness sake, if we have Kanu, of what use is it if we keep quiet? We have never been secretive. Nobody prompted us before we came out to talk about Egwu Eke II starting in the South-East. Nobody prompted us before we came out to say that despite all the pressures, we were not withdrawing the operation. The exercise is still ongoing,” a source from the army headquarters told the media house.
Another authoritative source from 82 Division headquarters, Enugu, was quoted as saying “Kanu is not with us. And I am not aware of his whereabouts.”
On Wednesday, September 27, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers had filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja praying for an order, directing the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce the IPOB leader in court.
The lawyers, led by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had declared Kanu missing, saying the IPOB leader was last seen after the September 14 invasion of his residence in Afara-Ukwu area of Abia State by soldiers during the Operation Python Dance II exercise.
During an interview on Sunday, September 17, Kanu’s younger brother simply identified as Fine Boy, had refused to tell the Punch where his brother was, adding that only the IPOB leader could disclose his hiding place.
“Only my brother can tell Nigerians where he is, I can’t. I don’t know why the Army should call IPOB a terrorist organisation, it is out of their desperation to arrest Nnamdi and frustrate the Biafran struggle. We have petitioned the United Nations and the European Union.
“…Nnamdi will soon disclose his current location and IPOB will also react to the proscription of the group by the South-East Governors’ Forum,” he said.
But despite these recent events and legal proscription of the secessionist group, some IPOB members released a statement claiming that Kanu’s hiding is a strategic plan which was uniformly decided by the group to safeguard their leader.
Another statement released by the outlawed group in Awka, on Thursday, September 28, described President Muhammadu Buhari as a godfather of terrorists who is sponsoring several terrorist organisations including Boko Haram.