Nearly two years after, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu, has opened up on how he escaped when military personnel on “Operation Python Dance II” stormed his Afaraukwu, Umuahia residence in Abia state.
Kanu in a detailed explanation said it took him over a year before he found his way into Israel.
The IPOB leader had in October last year, in his first public appearance after the September 14, 2017 incident, told an Israeli Tv that his family members aided his escape.
Recounting his ordeal, Kanu said they managed to get to Azumiri in the coastal area of Abia State from where he found his way to Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast before landing in Senegal. He described it as the toughest moment in his life, especially as he had sustained serious injuries during the attack.
He also revealed how he was freighted through the creeks before he eventually found himself in Republic of Benin.
“We were able to rent a boat on the coast. We left from a small town in Abia, Azumiri, an unobtrusive place where Nigerian authorities might not have thought to look.
“We planned to go to Republic of Benin, just west of Nigeria. For 14 days we travelled in dangerous seas in a small boat with an outboard motor.
“The Atlantic off that coast was heavy, stormy, and treacherous; on more than one occasion waves threatened to swamp our little craft.
“I was still gravely injured and in need of constant medical attention. At one point we put ashore to find ice to keep the medication I needed chilled. It was a dangerous time. I stayed hidden in a room while my companions went foraging for supplies.
“From Benin, I travelled by road to Senegal, a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometres. Once in Senegal I was able to make arrangements to travel to Israel. None of these journeys was easy.
“I was still in pain and the threat from Nigerian agents abroad never went away. When we stopped to rest on the road, I couldn’t go out.
“My world was shrunk to a room with a window, and sometimes not even that. I might as well have been in prison.
“Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast; all the countries I had to pass through rely economically on Nigeria, their governments corrupt enough to arrest me and send me back. I had to stay silent, unknown.
“I couldn’t even tell my wife or family where I was, just in case they became targets. It was agonising to realise that they didn’t know if I was dead or alive.
“Israel was a haven for me, but it took over a year to get there, and only then did I feel confident enough to let my fellow IPOB family members and immediate family know I was safe.”