Big Blow To IPOB As Nnamdi Kanu’s Arrest Leaves South East Group In Disarray, Confusion—The Genius Media Nigeria reports that the arrest of separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has left his group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB in disarray.
Kanu’s arrest by Nigerian authorities has dealt a very serious blow to the group and could even spell the end of the movement.
IPOB, a pro-secession group seeking to breakaway from Nigeria is adored by many who share the same sepratist ideology. For more than a decade, his fiery radio broadcasts and social media posts were thorns in the side of the Nigerian government but his transition to an armed struggle in 2020 was a step too far.
The armed wing of the group known as the Eastern Security Network or ESN – has been accused of killing at least 60 people in recent months, most of them police officers and military personnel.
Kanu’s arrest on Sunday is seen as the final act by a government determined to quell the uprising. The images of his arrest, more than anything else, would have seriously undermined the confidence of even his staunchest supporters.
It was not the first time the 53-year-old Jewish convert has been paraded in handcuffs, but unlike previous occasions his customary defiance was missing. His days-old grey beard gave him a disheveled look that not even his Fendi designer clothes could mask.
Mr Kanu was said to have turned the organisation into a one-man show, alienating some of his most trusted followers, and so there is now a leadership vacuum.
“Money disputes and accusations that he didn’t consult key stakeholders over the formation of an armed wing did not go down well with many,”, a source disclosed.
One of those who fell out with Mr Kanu and left the organisation last year was his former deputy, Uche Mefor, a respected member of the group who took over when the leader was previously incarcerated.
Allegations of misappropriation of donated funds have also led to the exit of loyal supporters in the US and UK.