By Azubuike Ihemeje, Esq
The supreme leader of the proscribed terrorists group IPOB, whose real name is Nwannekaenyi Okwu Kanu, (but later gave himself Nnamdi Kanu, a franchise name after the foremost Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe) has always yearned and solicited for arms, as far back as 2015, during the World Igbo Congress in USA.
However, the top Igbo elites at the said meeting in USA, roundly refused to yield to his demands for Arms nor assist to pay for same.
He returned to his base and continued his radio Biafra broadcasts, until his arrest.
On 28 April 2017, Kanu was released from prison on bail, on some stringent conditions.
Upon his arrival at his home town in Afara Umuahia, Kanu immediately proceeded to constitute his own Uniform soldiers and police officers, which he christened “Biafra Volunteers”.
Before September 2017, the Volunteer soldiers had already developed into a full blown squads with different units scattered throughout the East and most South South region.
Nigeria Army struck about the end of September 2017, to contain what had already developed as government within government.
Kanu immediately fled from Nigeria then, and remained incommunicado for close to two years, but resurfaced about mid 2019, and resumed his radio Biafra with a new name; University of Radio Biafra.
Nnamdi Kanu devoted most of his broadcasts from then on, on issues bordering on the physiology of the president of Nigeria, describing him as an impostor from Sudan and other issues against Nigeria government.
But, he could not, and was never heard given orders to his supporters to attack the Police nor anybody as at then.
Kanu continued his radio broadcasts till Covid 19 set in, and he even extended some palliatives to some of his supporters for distribution.
Then came the EndSars protests.
The nationwide protests against the Police then, somewhat lowered the morale, lowered their guards, dispirited, and weakened the Police generally.
Kanu immediately cashed in on that vulnerable and rampant wild violent situations, quickly issued an emergency broadcasts, mobilized his supporters, and directed them all to attack every single Police Station and loot their armory.
In his words;
“the time has come. Biafra is now or never, we must seize this rare opportunity to restore Biafra!”
The very first IPOB terrorists attack happened in Oyigbo LGA, Rivers State, where they attacked three Divisional headquarters and a Police Area Command.
They killed over 20 Police officers and Soldiers, plundered and looted all arms thereof, and led siege on the City for days until reinforcements by Soldiers arrived.
As so soon they were repelled and dispersed from Oyigbo City, where they had declared their headquarters and had already hoisted their flags all over the town, Kanu immediately directed them to proceed into the forests for training and further directives.
Having looted some large chunks of Arms, it was then easier for Kanu to commence their training, as he declared that; “Never again! We shall never return to mere talks with the zoological republic, called Nigeria. We shall henceforth, return back with violence and destroy everything in the Zoo, and make sure the zoo collapse for the freedom of Biafra “
Few weeks after their training, the then IPOB volunteers began to attack every police checkpoint in the East and proceeded to loot their Arms.
While some people were still mistaking those attacks as part of the grievances from EndSars protests, the killings continued unabated.
On December 12, 2020, Kanu announced the formation of the Eastern Security Network( ESN), a regional security force, which he said its purpose (in disguise) is to flush out bandits and illegal forest, but in truth and reality, their main purpose was to destroy every vestige of government presence from the East, and usher in Biafra.
It was not long, they struck the owerri prison, wherein they procured huge foot soldiers, whom they had earlier informed, that Biafra has already been granted them, and that all they need to do is simply to join them to flush out those Police Stations, and convert them into ESN offices.
All of these, were made fertile, easier, seamless, and less difficult, due to the situation created by EndSARS protests.
Hoodlums who looted private properties and warehouse palliatives then, have remained eternally grateful to the initiators of EndSARS.
But, above all else, Kanu, his ESN aka unknown Gunmen, had continued to owe lots of gratitudes to EndSARS people, till today.
For EndSars protests was able to create, the much needed environment, which afforded Kanu the opportunity to obtain and loot Arms, which his foremost Igbo world Congress in USA, could not achieve.