The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has stated that its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a prisoner of conscience. In a statement on Friday, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the Federal Government of Nigeria continues to violate the fundamental rights of Nnamdi Kanu.
According to the statement of IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful; “Following the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya to Nigeria without proper documentation for doing so and the long incarceration and detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody, we the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wish to state categorically to the people of the world that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is now declared Prisoner Of Conscience.
In 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was first arrested and subjected to a severe violation of his fundamental rights. After his miraculous escape from the military invasion of his home in 2017, he was abducted in Kenya and rendition to Nigeria in June this year.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been in DSS detention in Abuja ever since then. We, therefore, have to inform the world, most civilized countries and the Africa continent that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is fighting for the freedom and self-determination of his people, because under the United Nations Charter to which Nigeria is a signatory self-determination is not a crime.
Under the African Union Charter to which Nigeria is a signatory, Self Determination is not a crime. Under the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, particularly Article 20, CAP A9, self-determination is not a crime. As a matter of fact and law, Self Determination is recognized as a right, both domestically and internationally. Above all, Self Determination is a political opinion, which is recognized as a fundamental right under the Nigerian Constitution.
It’s a matter of public record that hundreds of concerned citizens exercising their rights to peaceful protest protested the incarceration of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu but were massacred in cold blood by Nigerian security agents.
Many more were arrested without trial. Some disappeared and have never been found till today. During the military invasion of his residence, code-named operation Python dance, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was almost killed if not for his miraculous escape.
In June 2021, he was kidnapped by the Nigerian government in Kenya and subjected to extraordinary rendition to Nigeria against his will and against all norms and rules of international law. In both instances, he committed no offence known to law. He only advocated self-determination for his people and all the oppressed peoples in Nigeria.
He did so peacefully by articulating the decades of oppression, marginalization, inequality, Apartheid, brutality and genocide to which his people and all oppressed people in Nigeria have been subjected to by the Buhari led administration.
And in light of those grievances, he demanded a referendum on self-determination and self-rule for the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) and all aggrieved groups and lovers of freedom.
In doing so, he bore no malice nor hate against any group. He only demanded self-determination as enshrined in the African Charter and the United Nations charter both of which Nigeria is signatory to. In peacefully articulating the grievances of injured and oppressed people and in seeking self-determination for all such peoples; Nnamdi Kanu broke no law within or outside Nigeria.
The indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has been and remains a peaceful organization, devoid of any hate or violence and totally committed to its aims and objectives through peaceful democratic means as recognized by international law.
Having regards therefore to all of the above and his continued extrajudicial detention; we hereby declare Mazi Nnamdi Kanu a “Prisoner Of Conscience”.
We do so because like Nelson Mandela, he broke no law nor committed any offence. He only advocated freedom for his people from decade’s long Apartheid, high level of oppression and tyranny. We use this opportunity to put the world on notice of the ongoing extrajudicial detentions, persecution and widespread human rights violations in Nigeria.
In the same vein, we call on the United States, the great state of Isreal, the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations, Amnesty international, Human rights watch and all lovers of freedom to intervene before it is too late,” IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful concluded.