activism runs in the family of the traditional ruler of
Afaraukwu in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. From the
monarch himself, His Royal Majesty, Eze Sir I. O. Kanu, Eze
Ikputu of Afara Ukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, to the least of his
children, it’s all the same blue blood of activism
permanently glued in their veins. In the early 1990s,
Nnamdi Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel, spearheaded
the agitation for the reduction of school fees. Now
Nnamdi, is leading a group to demand the freedom of
In this interview, their father, HRH Eze Kanu, who said it
was activism that made him represent his area three times
as Councillor, said he was ready to abdicate his throne
over the course for which his son is being detained.
How do you feel concerning your son appearing in
court last week?
I’m very happy that he was brought to court on Monday
(last week). From what I heard, as I was not able to go
because of my health, I was impressed at least my family
members were able to see him.
You may have had high hopes your son would be
released last week, but he was not. How do you react
to this failed expectation?
Well, it’s true that his release has taken time, but every
Biafran in Abuja, I learnt, was protesting that he be
released. Even those of them that were not on their
Biafran uniform later changed to it, flying their flags and
also chanting that he should be released. It made me sad
that he was not released because I expected them to
release him on that very day, but it didn’t come through,
instead they adjourned the case.
Do you think it is just for him to continue to be in
No, I don’t see any reason they should not obey the order,
which granted him bail; they should not continue to detain
him. He is not supposed to be in cell any more.
What’s your appeal to the Federal Government?
I’m appealing to the Federal Government and (President
Muhammadu) Buhari) in particular to release my son
because he is not fighting with arms; he is just talking with
his mouth. Also, half of Nigerians believe that he has not
done any wrong and he should be released. Buhari should
tamper justice with mercy and release him because he has
not come to destroy, rather he wants to set things right. If
Biafra is granted, there is nothing Nigerians will look for in
Biafra that they will not get; the same is applicable to
Biafrans. Using the case of Lot of Abraham as an example,
we want peace. We are not the same as the northerners;
so I don’t see any reason any one who knows the right
thing will not do it. If we go to other countries, we will see
how they gained their independence.
Will you advice your son to stop the Biafran pursuit for
No, I will not. Biafra is not only applicable to my family; it
is for everyone.
Would you abdicate your throne as condition for
Biafra to be realised?
Yes, even in the next 24 hours I will agree if that is the
condition necessary for Biafrans to be free. My kingship is
not as important as Biafran freedom.
Why is Biafra so important to you?
Biafra is important to me because there is nothing greater
than one’s freedom. Yes, we are just like slaves the way we
are. For example, the newly appointed ministers, can’t you
see we are rejected. All the positions we are supposed to
get they shared among themselves; so I want Biafra.
What word do you have for your son, Nnamdi?
I am asking him to be patient; what we do not get today
might be got tomorrow. Nothing is going to happen to him,
by Gods grace. Let him be careful with the food and water
he takes there because they can kill him through any
means possible. Even if he dies today, many others will
rise for the actualisation of Biafra till the end, but we don’t
pray for such to happen.