There was jubilation yesterday in the family home of pro-Biafra agitator Nnamdi Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State.
But to the family, the bail conditions are “harsh” and should be reviewed by the court. Kanu should be free unconditionally.
Speaking with reporters at his palace at Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, Kanu’s father, Eze Israel Kanu, flanked by his wife Ugoeze Sally, called for the unconditional release of his son.
The traditional ruler of Afaraukwu Ineku Umuahia kingdom, however, said he was overjoyed over the news – that his son had been granted bail by the Abuja High Court but insisted that the conditions were impossible.
To the monarch, it sounds illogical for a court in Nigeria to expect a Jewish leader in faraway Israel to stand as surety for a person standing trial in Nigeria, “Why ask him to produce a Jewish leader as surety? Why demand a Senator or Igbo leader who will deposit N100 million? Is N100 million N100.
“It is possible that they are looking for an opportunity to keep him in detention. It is up to the world to look at the bail conditions and see if they are justifiable for a man who has done nothing to warrant being held in prison.”
Eze Kanu urged Ndigbo to “unite and take up the challenge as a people”. He pleaded that other IPOB members standing trial with his son should be released unconditionally.
The elder Kanu said he had always had the faith that his son would one day be released and thanked God that such a day had come.
He hailed Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose and former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode for their solidarity with his son, but frowned at the absence of Igbo leaders at the court premises, saying that was an indication that they were not supporting the Biafra cause.
The IPOB leader’s mother said she had been having sleepless nights while her son was in detention and thanked God for answering her prayers.
Mrs Kanu thanked all those who stood firm for the Biafra cause and prayed for her son’s release, urging them to keep the faith.
Asked if she would advise her son to discontinue his agitation, she cried: “No retreat, no surrender. Biafra is a divine project.”
Kanu’s mother said the arrest of her son popularised the Biafra agitation and vowed to keep supporting the movement. “My son was raised by God to deliver Biafra and as God delivered Israel so he will deliver Biafra because my son is fighting for his right,” she said.
Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) members described the bail granted to the IPOB leader as the triumph of light over darkness.
In a release signed by its leader, Uchenna Madu, MASSOB said it had always identified with true representations of Biafra and genuine struggle for the liberation of the people of Biafra.
The release reads: “I spent almost four years in different prisons from 2005 to 2009 which includes Suleleja, Keffi and Kuje prisons for same purpose of Biafra and was later released. Nnamdi Kanu and others won’t be an exception. He represents the interest of the people of Biafra; he is not a criminal”.
“MASSOB commends the efforts of Igbo governors, Some prominent and eloquent leaders, like Mr Peter Obi, Chief John Nwodo (Ohaneze PG), Governor Fayose, some Igbo National Assembly members, Nzuko Umunna and other progressive persons for their unflinching efforts in compelling the Federal Government to grant Nnamdi Kanu bail.
“As the people of Biafra erupted in jubilation all over the world in celebration of triumph of light over darkness, it shows that we are more united in our pursuit for Biafra actualisation and restoration, irrespective of our different organisations.”