Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has petitioned the United Nations over the detention of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
He also said President Muhammadu Buhari is arresting and detaining unarmed protesters in a clampdown on civil rights.
Kanu made the allegations in a petition, when he led a delegation to the UN headquarters in Geneva, according to a statement by IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful.
The statement released in Abakaliki said Kanu met with officials of various UN agencies to establish the group’s grievances against the Nigerian government.
“The enigma championing the current restoration quest of Biafra and leader of the indomitable Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, today, the 18th day of September 2019, scored yet another mark as he led a delegation of Biafrans to an all-important series of meetings with various United Nations agencies and its officials in Geneva,” the statement began.
It said the IPOB leader listed, “forceful Islamisation of the country as currently constituted, illegal detention of unarmed agitators, flagrant contempt of court orders, and incessant abduction and extrajudicial killings of IPOB family members,” as some of the ills of the Buhari administration.
Kanu was said to have asked the UN to support IPOB’s quest for a sovereign state of Biafra.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu the greatest prophet and leader of our time presented Biafra plight to the United Nations officials, demanding urgent action against the numerous rights abuses inflicted daily upon Biafrans and the need to support the undeniable right of Biafrans to self-determination as enshrined in law, statute and various UN conventions” the statement read.
Kanu was also said to have also informed the UN of the now-suspended RUGA initiative, which the government introduced to address the incessant clashes between farmers and herders across the country.
The IPOB spokesman said Kanu made a case for the plight of the Igbo, adding that their case will no longer be ignored.
“‘Every issue concerning our people’ as mentioned by Kanu ranges from the incessant killing of Biafrans in their own land, extortion and killing of Biafran motorcyclists and commercial drivers.
“Exploiting the rights of indigenous people to self-determination as provided by the UN charter 2007, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his usual charismatic poise has conscientiously pursued freedom for the oppressed people of Biafra.
“He also raised the issue of the continued illegal detention of Omoleye Sowore, the relentless persecution of the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria led by Sheikh El-Zakzaky, on-going tragic ethnic cleansing in the Middle Belt and plight of Christian minorities in core North. From every indication, there is palpable air of assurance that all the years of neglect of Biafra as a global issue requiring serious attention is now a thing of the past,” the statement concluded.