BY MOSES OKORIE
About two years after he left the shores of Nigeria into self-exile in Israel, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has revealed how he meandered his way from Nigeria despite the presence of the Nigeria Army who barricaded his country home at Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, in September 2017, during the ‘Operation Python Dance II’.
The IPOB leader said he found his way to Azumiri in the coastal area of Abia State and thereafter took off to the Republic of Benin, passing through Togo to Ghana, Ivory Coast before landing in Senegal, and that he took him over one year to find his way to Israel.
He said he sustained serious injuries during the attack before he escaped into the creeks, and eventually found his way to the Republic of Benin.
A report quoted Nnamdi Kanu as saying, “We were able to rent a boat on the coast. We left from a small town in Abia, Azumiri, an unobtrusive place where the Nigerian authorities might not have thought to look.
“We planned to go to the Republic of Benin, just west of Nigeria. For 14 days we travelled in dangerous seas in a small boat with an outboard motor.
“The Atlantic off that coast is heavy, stormy, and treacherous; on more than one occasion waves threatened to swamp our little craft.
“I was still gravely injured and in need of constant medical attention. At one point we put ashore to find ice to keep the medication I needed chilled. It was a dangerous time. I stayed hidden in a room while my companions went foraging for supplies.
“From Benin, I travelled by road to Senegal, a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometres. Once in Senegal I was able to make arrangements to travel to Israel. None of these journeys was easy.
“I was still in pain and the threat from Nigerian agents abroad never went away. When we stopped to rest on the road, I couldn’t go out.
“My world was shrunk to a room with a window, and sometimes not even that. I might as well have been in prison.
“Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, all the countries I had to pass through rely economically on Nigeria, their governments corrupt enough to arrest me and send me back. I had to stay silent, unknown.
“I couldn’t even tell my wife or family where I was, just in case they became targets. It was agonising to realise that they didn’t know if I was dead or alive.
“Israel was a haven for me, but it took over a year to get there, and only then did I feel confident enough to let my fellow IPOB family members and immediate family know I was safe.”