The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra , Nnamdi Kanu, has been in exile since September 2017. He stated that he ran for his life when the military came to his house with orders from Nigerian President Muhammdu Buhari to kill him.
Kanu, an active campaigner for the independent Biafra Republic, faces charges of treason has been accused of abandoning his followers in Nigeria. He had been calling for a referendum in Nigeria, for an independent republic.
Now, he is in hiding and his followers have nowhere to turn to. It is believed he is taking refuge in Israel, although this is not confirmed. It is interesting to note that Kanu has likened himself to the late South African president Nelson Mandela, saying he is trying to fight a battle for independence and equality from afar.
Nnamdi Kanu is asking Nigerians to boycott the elections scheduled for February 16. He says that if people vote, they are adding to the misery of the Biafran people.
There are many people who have not heard of Biafra, and it has long been forgotten by the world. The Republic of Biafra was a secessionist state in West Africa which existed from May 1967 to January 1970. It was made up of the states in the Eastern Region of Nigeria. It was Biafra’s attempt to leave Nigeria that resulted in the Nigerian Civil War.
Nnamdi Kanu, the self-appointed leader of the Biafran people in Nigeria, is not a popular or well-liked figure. Whether he has enough support in Nigeria to continue his battle is uncertain. There are those that call him names, saying that many of his claims should not even be discussed. The fact that he is calling for an election boycott could also be harmful to his own people, the Igbos.
On Twitter, the reaction has been one of disbelief and also comedy. Some call Kanu a psychopath. Others call him an idiot. Some say he is not Nigerian. Others call him a liar for spreading lies. It is likely he is concocting the fleeing of home to garner public support and put the blame on the Buhari government.