Military plans another Python Dance as Kanu speaks today

ENIOLA AKINKUOTU, ADE ADESOMOJU, Ihuoma Chiedozie, OLALEYE ALUKO and OGBONNAYA IKOKWU



The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said on Saturday that the military
would conduct another round of Operation Python Dance in the South-East,
since there were clearer indications that the founder of the Indigenous
People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has resurfaced from his hideout.



The military authorities also said the court would take necessary steps to continue his prosecution.



The Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen John Agim, who stated
this in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, added that the
sudden appearance of Kanu in public, has proved that the military did
not manhandle or assault him as was being widely alleged.



Agim said the conduct of Python Dance in the South-East region was
necessary to combat any form of kidnapping and armed robbery as the end
of the year neared.



The Defence spokesperson added that the military would launch a fresh operation in the region this year to ensure peace.



He said, “Our responsibility is to ensure that there is peace and
security in the South-East region and that is the essence of Operation
Python Dance.



“We are going to have another operation this year. It is to ensure that
we don’t allow what happens in the North-East to happen again.



“We are having multiple operations. The court will now know the true
situation of things. We said at that time that Kanu ran away, but people
said the military kept him in custody. It was propaganda.”



IPOB leader ‘ll make live broadcast today – Lawyer



Meanwhile, a lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, who heads the legal team of
the IPOB leader, said on Saturday that he had spoken with his client
after a video clip of Kanu, praying in Jerusalem, surfaced on the
Internet on Friday.



Ejiofor, in a statement on Saturday, confirmed that Kanu would address
the public in a world press broadcast to be beamed live on Sunday
(today) to narrate “the shocking tale of how he made it alive”.



This came ahead of the November 14 scheduled for hearing in Kanu’s trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja.



Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe and others, who stood bail sureties for the
IPOB leader in April last year, will also return to the court presided
by Justice Binta Nyako.



They are expected to show cause why they should not be made to lose
their N100m bail bonds which they entered into to secure Kanu’s bail, if
they are unable to produce the IPOB leader.



Also, a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, whom Ejiofor had been
made to be summoned by the court for insisting that Kanu had escaped to
London, is also expected in court at the next hearing date.



Kanu was being prosecuted by the Federal Government before the Federal
High Court in Abuja before he became missing since September 14, 2017,
following a military invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu in Umuahia, Abia
State.



IPOB had, through a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma
Powerful, confirmed on Friday that the person seen in the video was its
leader at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, where he joined other faithful
to offer prayers.



The lawyer said as a direct confirmation of the development, he heard from Kanu on Saturday after 13 months of being missing.



He said he initially dismissed the video which emerged on the Internet
about Thursday or Friday until his efforts to verify it yielded a
positive result.



He said, “Only, this morning, I received a direct confirmation from my
client, hearing once from him after 13 months in captivity.



“Furthermore, the shocking tale of how he made it alive once again will
be made public in his scheduled world press broadcast to be beamed live
within the next 24 hours.



“The general public and indeed the world is advised to keep a date with this broadcast.



“The world will now hear from the horse’s mouth, the gory accounts of
what happened in my client’s home on the 14th day of September 2017,
only tomorrow (Sunday).”



It’s a welcome development, says Ohanaeze



Reacting to Nnamdi Kanu’s re-emergence, Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the development as ‘welcome’.



National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, who
spoke with one of our correspondents in Enugu, said, “The news of his
appearance is welcome to us. Now we know that he is alive and well; we
give thanks to God.”



But Achi-Okpaga added that the development had also shown that Ohanaeze
was innocent of IPOB’s claim that it connived with the Federal
Government to kill Kanu during Operation Python Dance 2.



He said, “This has also shown that Ohanaeze was innocent of the
accusations by IPOB – they said we connived with the Federal Government
to kill Kanu during Operation Python Dance, which of course is not true,
as Ohanaeze even condemned the military campaign then and has continued
to do so.



“Ohanaeze is not in support of any form of military deployment against
IPOB and other agitators in the South-East and it is quite unfortunate
that IPOB will accuse Ohanaeze of being a party to such.



“IPOB and the other pro-Biafran agitators are our children; we will never get tired of saying this.”



Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, also
said on Saturday that Kanu spoke to him on the telephone promising to
join forces with the Peoples Democratic Party to defeat President
Muhammadu Buhari next year.



Fani-Kayode said this in a terse message sent to one of our correspondents on Saturday.



He said, “I just received a call from my brother, Nnamdi Kanu. I am
delighted that he is alive and well. I commend his strength and courage
even as I marvel at the loyalty, resilience and commitment of his
lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, and IPOB. We have agreed to work together to
vote Buhari out.”



We want Kanu’s parents back – Kinsmen



Also, 24 hours after the missing leader of the IPOB was reportedly seen
in an online video in Israel, members of his community have said they
want his parents back.



The whereabouts of Kanu’s father, Eze Israel Kanu, and mother, Sally,
remained a mystery since September 14, 2017. when soldiers reportedly
invaded their residence in Isiama- Afaraukwu Umuahia.



Governor Okezie Ikpeazu promised a delegation of Afaraukwu Ibeku
community that paid him a courtesy visit last week that he was going to
liaise with his fellow South-East governors to engage the Federal
Government to locate and bring back the missing royal father before
December.



But the people of Afaraukwu in a statement on Saturday said they were
not happy that some politicians in the state were trying to play
politics with the promise made by the governor to return their
traditional ruler to his palace.



The President-General of Afaraukwu Development Union, Chief Emeka
Ezebuiro, in the statement, said the entire Afaraukwu community, wanted
their monarch back to his palace.

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