The leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu has rejected claims that he has flouted some of the bail conditions given to him by a Federal high Court in Abuja.
In this exclusive chat with Voice of Ndigbo reporter, the IPOB leader also described his bail conditions as inhumane and primitive.
Like every other person, especially some of the members of the IPOB, would you say your release was unexpected?
My release was not expected in the sense that a lot of people thought that Nigeria will continue to make a fool of herself.
So surprisingly, they granted bail; although they had no reason to detain me in the first place neither did they have enough reason to continue the detention. So they had no choice more or less than to release.
I wouldn’t call it a release because you can see the conditions are stringent and almost primitive to the point of describing what Nigeria is, for those who may be outside looking in.
One would say you have been seen flouting some of the orders made by the court on you bail, are you not worried about a re-arrest?
I have not flouted anything (bail conditions), I have spoken, I have certain rights which amenable; you cannot give birth to a child and smack that baby and ask the baby not to cry, it doesn’t make any sense.
I am a human being, therefore I must speak, I must meet my people.
I happen to be born into a family that would always receive large number of people by virtue of the position of my father as the traditional ruler of my people.
So the bail conditions, as stringent as they are, are not designed to apply to a human being, it can apply to a cattle somewhere in the North but not where I come from.
I must always speak, I will speak, and I will associate people because that is the right thing to do.
You release came close to the Anambra election, and close to gearing up of campaign activities for the 2019 election. Would you say your release is political?
Of course not my release is not political; some of the politicians did not want me released but unfortunately they came round to it, I have been told on good authority that most of them turned around and wanted me to be released because the pressure was too much.
With me inside the prison there is no way the Anambra election would have continued, with me now outside prison, the Anambra election would not continue.
Whether their reasons for coming to support my eventual release was political or not, it is neither here nor there, I will not support any electioneering in any sort as long as a date for a referendum hasn’t been announced.
The IPOB that I lead, we are not interested in electioneering in Nigeria because we are moving speedily ahead to the restoration of Biafra, we will not participate or condone any voting to take place in Biafra land until further notice.
No, what will be disenfranchising the people is voting in the same set of criminals or those wholesomely responsible for the mess we are in today.
Workers are not being paid, you can see the very non-existence of infrastructure, they are no longer dilapidated, they do not exist, and that’s the fact.
So we want to end our misery our shame and our suffering and the only way to do that is send a very clear and unambiguous message to whoever maybe interested that we are no longer going to participate in any election until a date for a referendum for the freedom of Biafra is set.
On May 23, the Shehu Musa Yaradua centre in collaboration with the Mac Arthur Foundation hosted the Biafra at 50 event with themed: “A Sober Reflection”, what can you say about the event?
If you listened to the speech of Nnia-Nwodo, you would say that it contained a lot of issues and points which strike at heart of this very agitation (for Biafra).
Also, if you adopt the position of Professor Nwala, you would see that it comes closest to what we are asking for.
So it was a very good forum and platform to ventilate some of these issues and we adopt the position of Professor Nwala as being what came closest to actually identifying with our state of mind and how we want all these issues to be addressed in the long run.
So Biafra at 50 was a momentous event because the same Obasanjo said that Biafra was dead and buried but you had Biafra emblazoned behind him in Abuja few weeks ago which is a testament to the fact that Biafra lives and that Biafra can never be dead or buried.
Do you think it is right for people who had experienced the 1967 Nigeria-Biafra civil war to tell their stories?
Of course it is a very good idea for them to tell their stories but their experiences is only there to guide us going into the future. It is not there to act as some kind of threat or an overbearing influence – a negative one at that – to compel us to stop what we are doing.
That is the mistake that people make.
Our fathers fought their own war, we are not seeking to fight war, we will not fight any war but should it come to it, we have every right to defend ourselves.
Israel has been fighting wars, for the past heaven knows when – 7,000 years they are still fighting war… if people bring war to you there is nothing you can do about it.
Gowon brought war to Ojukwu, they called it police action, they brought war to the land of Biafra and we had to defend ourselves, that is a historical fact and that is the truth.
They keep hiding it, they keep massaging it and trying to keep it away from public understanding, that is why they don’t teach history in their schools.
What we are saying is that, having the experience of the war or having them (victim of the civil war) narrate it, is a good thing so we would not make the mistakes that they made.
Some people would say you betrayed your co-accusers and some of the IPOB members who are still in prison by accepting a bail, is this true?
Those who say that are the one who never wanted me out. If I stay in there and say I’m not going to come out until you release them and then what happens.
They will go and tell EU (European Union) that can’t you see, we’ve released him and he doesn’t want to come out. Is it? That what will happen and they will just throw away the keys (he said laughing).
However, I will ask, what stopped Binta Nyako from granting all of us bail, it is a very simple bait that they set for me.
So take it or remain there.
So, what moves are you making to ensure the release of you co-accusers and many other members of the IPOB in detention?
Every move we make to ensure the release of all IPOB members including those that were with him in Kuje Prison is legal.
So, we are waiting for the court; to go back to the court and we make sure that they come out.
We cannot do anything whilst they are still there, we have to go appear before Binta Nyako and we are working on it.