Nigeria's secessionist leader Kanu on the run

The embattled leader of Nigeria's secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, is on the run, the military said.

Mr Kanu reportedly went into hiding after the Nigerian military declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

The five Southeast states of Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Abia have also proscribed IPOB.

The government also filed a suit before the Abuja Federal High Court seeking the revocation of the bail granted to Mr Kanu, who is standing treason trial along with three other people.

Mr Kanu, also a director of private Radio Biafra and some top members of IPOB, have been in hiding since last Friday when the secession agitators confronted the troops who were conducting the "Operation Python Dance’’ in Umuahia in Abia State.

The military operatives of the Directorate of State Service (DSS) stormed Mr Kanu’s home in Afaraukwu and other places during the commencement of the one month-long operation.

The proscription

IPOB members who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that Mr Kanu and others were told to go into hiding following the military’s classification and the proscription of their activities by Southeastern governors.

“We have to apply wisdom to whatever we are doing," Mr Uchena Azuibike, an IPOB sympathiser, said

"We have realised that there is a grand conspiracy against Kanu and other top leaders of our group.”

Former Abia State governor Orji Kalu has accused IPOB of challenging the sovereignty of Nigeria.

The rising wave

He justified the deployment of troops in the Southeast to check the IPOB activities.

Mr Kalu explained that the military operation was intended to stem the rising wave of violent agitation, kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the Southeast.

The former governor supports the clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria, which he explained did not amount to a break-up of the country.

The police in the Southeast states have started arresting anyone found with Biafra emblems, including flags.

People of goodwill

The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, paraded some suspected IPOB members found adorning the emblem of Biafra.

Mr Ogbizi said anyone seen with the Biafra emblem would be charged in court.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed for peace, saying the recent developments called for all people of goodwill to use whatever influence they have to push for coexistence and restraint on all sides.

Perhaps it is time for the Council of State to intervene and offer its wise counsel, he said on Sunday.`

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