The mother of the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Mrs. Ugoeze Sally Nnenne Kanu has died.
The announcement came via an unscheduled video broadcast by Mr. Kanu himself via his Facebook page moments ago.
He said his mother died on the 30th day of August 2019, but gave no explanation why the news was not announced until now.
Mrs. Kanu was the wife to HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) – the traditional ruler of Isiama-Afaraukwu Kingdom in Ubeku, Umuahia of Abia State.
In the video speech Kanu traced her mother’s demise to the horrendous circumstances surrounding the reported invasion of his country home on 14 September 2017 by the Nigerian Army, an operation which was reported to have left his home riddled with bullets and leaving at least 28 of his supporters dead.
He said the trauma of those events “contributed immensely to her ill health which unfortunately the doctors were not able to do anything about.”
“A mother as caring and as compassionate as she is, watching and seeing her children being killed – 28 of them in total, and having seen their dead bodies, traumatized her to the extent that she took ill from which she never recovered.”
Yet, in an iron-willed defiance, Kanu restated his unflinching commitment to the struggles of IPOB saying, “I did say on numerous occasions that I will sacrifice everything that is sacrificiable to ensure that Biafra is restored and today I can tell you that my mother has been sacrificed in this very process and we are not stopping and we are not relenting. The most critical thing is Biafra, the most important issue facing us is Biafra and that is what we are focused on and that is what we are going to accomplish”.
Of her mother, he said the successful actualization of Biafra was the only way “to respect her memory and to honour her.”
Earlier in September this year, the IPOB leader undertook a series of diplomatic offensive which took him to the European Union parliament in Brussels, the United Nations in Geneva and across the world to Nagoya in Japan soliciting for the support of these international organizations for the Biafran struggle.
Details of the discussions he had with them and what support or commitments, if any, he received from these world bodies were undisclosed.
But today’s news put the IPOB global family in despair. Thousands of followers went on to social media to express shock and deep condolences.
The IPOB organization itself released a statement through its spokesman, Mr. Emma Powerful, praising “the womb that gave birth to the most brave of all, the sagacious, the indefatigable and the unstoppable enigmatic leader” and vowing “we shall not stop nor grow weary until Biafra freedom is totally restored on your behalf and in your honour and that of many others who lost their lives for us to live.”
Mrs. Kanu was forcefully thrust into national limelight and the treacherous terrain of political agitation when her son was released on bail after nearly two years of arrest and detention on treasonous charges by the Nigerian authorities.
Perhaps having no house of his own, on release Mr. Kanu had returned to his father‘s palace at Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia which later became a Jerusalam of sort for hundreds of thousands of IPOB supporters from the South-east and South-south regions of Nigeria who daily thronged the palace to organize and agitate.
IPOB is a radical organization which insists that Nigeria is structurally deficient and a perennially irredeemable country, and is primarily advocating for the split of the wholly Judeo-Christian eastern section of the country into a free republic of Biafra.
No further clarification regarding the funeral of the deceased was offered, which if it takes place in Nigeria could further inflame separatist passions already high in the region.
In closing, Nnamdi Kanu prayed for her mother for the “repose of her soul in the bosom of Chukwu Okike Abiama Puru Ime Ihe Nile (an Igbo rendition for God Almighty) who we know will keep her and from there she will watch over Biafra.”
“And in our time, Biafra shall come”.