Forty-eight hours to the burial ceremony of Nnamdi Kanu’s parents, soldiers have reportedly blocked the entrance of the family residence of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ahead of his parents’ burial in Abia state.
Quoting the residents of Afara Ukwu, the community where the funeral ceremony is scheduled to hold on Friday, February 14, 2020, Amnesty International (AI), said the soldiers are harassing members of the community.
Although there ‘s indeed heavy security presence in the community, it’s not been verified if the soldiers truly blocked the entrance of Kanu’s family residence.
But in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Amnesty International says it gathered from residents of the community who said, “they saw soldiers harassing people at Bank road while another man said he was prevented from going to his house by soldiers who blocked the road entrance to Eze Kanu’s palace.”
AI Drector in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho called on security agencies to de-escalate the rising tension in the community.
He said, “The Nigerian security forces must exercise restraint and prevent a repetition of the September 2017 events that left at least 20 people killed and some still missing, when the military attempted to arrest Nnamdi Kanu in his home in Afara Ukwu.
“While law enforcement officers are within their rights to carry out their lawful duties, the use of force should be proportional and strictly limited to those situations where it is absolutely necessary. Both IPOB supporters and security forces must at all times respect and protect human rights of all.
“Concerns about possible violence during the funeral must be addressed within the framework of human rights and rule of law.”
Earlier, the Ohanaeze Youth Council had asked Abia state Police Commissioner, Mr Ene Okon to warn his men to stay away from the ceremony.
The group warned that any move by the police to disrupt the event would be resisted by his group.
In September 2017, the Federal Government declared IPOB a terrorist group, and since then, the leader of the group, Kanu has been on the run.