The family of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has asked the Nigeria Army to produce him, saying that his whereabouts remain unknown weeks after the raid on their Afaraukwu Umuahia family house.
The family is alleging that Nnamdi Kanu is in the custody of the army.
This came as Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji condemned the military exercise code-named Egwu Eke 11, describing it as a tale of terror, blood and tears.
But the army has, in a swift reaction, denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the IPOB leader.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, Colonel Sagir Musa said he did not know about the arrest of Kanu.
“I am not aware of his arrest,” Musa said.
But Kanu’s younger brother, Emma insisted that he strongly believed that his elder brother was captured by the army during the raid.
He also claimed that the whereabouts of his parents HRM Eze Israel Kanu, and Lolo Sally Kanu are not known since after the attack.
He called on the military to release him to the police.
“It is either they captured him or killed him when they attacked our house. If they captured him, they should release him to the police and if they killed him, they should produce the corpse because he was last seen moments before the raid,” Emmanuel Kanu said.
He claimed that the family had been searching for the IPOB leader and his parents since after the military attack but without any clue of their whereabouts.
Catholic Bishop condemns Army Operation
According to Bishop Ugorji, “Our country is passing through turbulent times” which he blamed on “the growing culture of impunity, greed and graft among the political elite, as well as the injustice and inequity in political appointments and the distribution of social amenities”.
In a statement which he signed, Ugorji said: “While public officers and their cronies obscenely amass ill-gotten gains at the expense of the masses, the growing army of unemployed youths are daily assailed by deepening frustration as they behold a future that seems to promise them little or nothing.
Consequently, agitations of disillusionment and dissatisfaction are growing louder across the nation, especially in the last two years.
“While some groups in the nation are calling for restructuring of the country, others such as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are pressing for secession.
“In the wake of these agitations, which have heightened the tension in our distressed nation, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Yussuff Buratai, set out to militarize the South East region of the country by the deployment of the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army in the zone under the code name Operation Python Dance II.
“As the public was in informed, the military operation was to last from 15 the September to 15th October 2017 and was being undertaken to check criminal activities that have become prevalent in the zone.
“Nevertheless, the Chief of Army Staff failed to explain why the Nigerian Army was brazenly assuming the constitutional responsibility of the Police Force.”