Chairman of Slok group and former governor of Abia state, Ori Uzor Kalu has stated that the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is currently in London, adding that he went through Malaysia.
Orji Kalu, in a recent interview with Punch, also reveals that no foreign government was in support of the activities of IPOB, disclosing that it was all ‘Propaganda’. Below are excerpts from the Interview;
On first meeting with Nnamdi Kanu
“I spoke with Nnamdi Kanu in the prison and gave him quality advice. I counselled him to embrace peace and agree with whatever terms that will set him free. I also warned him against allowing his boys to be displaying Biafra flags, coat of arms, organising parades, establishing secret security service, and mounting a guard of honour. I told him that by doing all these, his group had subdued the sovereignty of Nigeria and are therefore looking for trouble.
No government on earth including the United States will allow any group to be championing the cause of dividing their country. I believe most sincerely that with the situation on ground today, majority of the Igbo do not agree on the issue of Biafra as a separate country.
I have heard some elite, including professors who are saying that they want Biafra but they should know that there is no way such agitation can be achieved under the law. There is no section of the Nigerian constitution where you have restructuring. There is no section that spells out the process for dividing the country. All those things are alien to the constitution.
If willingly, we want to talk about a constitutional amendment, then people can bring up various issues. Today, the creation of Biafra Republic is not feasible. The (Indigenous People of Biafra) boys have the right to express themselves but they do not have any right to engage in destruction of property, raping women or setting up a Biafran intelligence service. No country will allow that to happen. I am an Igbo man before being a Nigerian and I have no regrets being an Igbo man.
I have lived outside Igbo land so I understand Nigeria. I sincerely want to say and maintain what I have said earlier that Biafra as a country is not an issue now. The issue is for the Nigerian government to give us justice and fairness. When some Igbo people cry of marginalisation, I tell them that if they go to other parts of the country, the people there are also crying because the story is the same. There is a wall between the rich and the poor. We don’t have any war of dialect or language. The rich people should start having a human face so that we can move the nation forward.”
Nnamdi Kanu did not listen to Me
“I will not tell you a lie. Nnamdi Kanu did not agree with me at all on my views about his activities. I did most of the talking throughout the two hours and ten minutes that I stayed with him. I told him many stories about life especially some of the stories that the Ikemba Nnewi (Odimegwu Ojukwu) told me when he was alive and also explained lot of things to him based on my experience in life but didn’t agree with me. I had to cut short my journey when I heard what was happening between his boys and the military. I returned to the country on September 14 and came straight to Abia State on the 15th to make sure that we talked to the IPOB boys so that they would stop what they were doing and allow peace to reign.”
Kanu was not taken by the Nigerian military
“Kanu was not taken away by the military. Kanu went to Malaysia from where he travelled to the United Kingdom. Nnamdi Kanu is in London right now as we speak. He was not arrested by anybody. He left the country on his own. One of his relations has spoken to me and explained everything because I wanted to see him and talk to him wherever he was and see how I could meet some Federal Government officials on his issue.
I also wanted to see ways of talking to the President about him and find common ground but his family told me that he has left the country unless they are lying to me. I believe, whether he had left the country or not, he is not with the military because I asked the Commander of the 14 Brigade, Brig.-Gen. A.K Ibrahim, who is a very fine and good soldier, well educated and dedicated, and he told me that they don’t know his whereabouts and I am sure, the Department of State Services have the same information. I also visited the commissioner of police and he said he didn’t know his whereabouts and that they are also looking for him.”
On Proscription of IPOB
I really don’t understand why someone should sew uniforms for a group of boys under his control and start to make statements which he is not expected to say claiming that he disagrees with the law of the land. Disobedience to the law of the land itself can make you to be tagged as a terrorist because we have a law, the constitution.
I am an Igbo man to the heart, I don’t care what anybody says, I don’t pretend and I have never asked any president to give me a job. Since I left office as governor, two presidents have approached me and offered to give me federal appointments but I rejected their offers. I even told one of them that I have a (court) case with you (your government) and he said, “Oh yes, I know about the case. It is political because I have read every file about the case.” The former president is the late Umaru Yar’Adua, may his soul rest in peace. I don’t want to go into further details because the case is still in court.
Buhari did not tag IPOB members ‘terrorists’
Who tagged IPOB members as terrorists? Was it Buhari who tagged them as terrorists? The answer is no! Was it Buhari who proscribed them? The answer is no! It is only the people who live within the same enclave and area with them that said no, we will no longer collectively tolerate this (activities of IPOB members). The president has not said anything on this issue. The people are fond of attributing everything to Buhari. The governors went to Enugu for a meeting where the group was proscribed. In the first place, some of the governors mismanaged this issue. Go and ask Nwazurike, he is still alive; when he was doing this (Biafran agitation), there was a way we treated him. We gave him guidelines and warned him not do certain things. We told him (as governors then) that his group had the right to carry the (Biafran) flag but anytime they wanted to carry it, I usually invoked the law of the land and made it binding on them because that was the right thing expected of me as governor. You cannot be going to the market women to carry their foods and be eating. You cannot go to a woman selling akara with the little money on her, and carry her akara and eat. The boys would sometimes see a woman selling food by the roadside and decide to eat all her food without paying her. When I was governor, whenever such incident was brought to my attention, I usually applied the law instantly. The law is very clear. People should stop the sentiment, this is about saving this nation, it is about saving our people, it is about bringing back economic prosperity to the South-East.