TENSION is mounting in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Isiama Afaraukwu community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State as soldiers have invaded the locality awaiting him should Mr Kanu arrival for his parents’ funeral.
Currently on self-imposed exile after jumping bail and fleeing from Nigeria in November 2017, Mazi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), is facing several charges including treason and faces a lengthy jail term if he ever sets foot in Nigeria. However, over the recent months, the Ipob leader has lost both of his parents and he has vowed to return to Nigeria to bury them next month.
Mazi Kanu has thrown down a challenge to the Nigerian government threatening them to arrest him saying that he will attend the funeral of his parents in Abia State on February 14. As the date looms, the Nigerian military has stepped up its presence in the Isiama Afaraukwu community, carrying out exercises and patrols in the area.
Local people are fearful that the soldiers have come looking for Mazi Kanu in case he shows up for the funeral of his parents His Royal Highness Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and Ugoeze Sally Kanu, taking place in 10 days time. Over the weekend, soldiers reportedly blocked all roads leading to the Kanu’s palace compound and nine military vehicles were seen in the area.
However, the Nigerian Army has denied it is targeting Mazi Kanu, claiming that the soldiers seen in the area were on routine patrols. According to the Nigerian Army, the soldiers who were in a Hilux van, did not go to the Afaraukwu community to create fear or harass innocent citizens.
According to one military source, Ipob is known as a propagandist group who wants to create a bad impression about the military. He added that no amount of Ipob propaganda can distract the military from performing its constitutional role, which includes, making sure that Abia is safe for residents and its citizens.