The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was featured yesterday on Israel National TV, where he spoke about his arrest, incarceration, and issues with the federal government.
The IPOB leader who was introduced as Nnamdi Kanu of Biafra was asked how do Biafrans perceive themselves as Jewish people considering their roots.
Nnamdi Kanu replied by saying that Biafrans (Igbos) are about 70 million people scattered all over the world and those that identify themselves with their Jewish heritage are nearly 50 million.
The IPOB leader said that a significant number of Biafrans practice Judaism in terms of their prayers and in other areas.
Nnamdi Kanu also said that when Christianity came, the Jewish heritage was suppressed and they were made to feel ashamed of their “roots”.
He said luckily, some of the Biafrans maintained the Jewish culture till today as he sited Umuleri village in Anambra state as an example where the Jewish tradition is practiced.
The IPOB leader also said all Igbos are Jewish but the problem is the influx of Christianity in Nigeria through colonialism which dampened down the Jewish tradition and shifted the focus from the Old Testament to the New Testament. He said the Igbos are the Jews of Africa.
Nnamdi Kanu said that Biafrans want to get back to the way they were before the British came because the way Nigeria was put together is the root cause of the problem.
He also said that IPOB wants an independent Jewish state of Biafra that would be independent of anything to do with Nigeria. He said they want a Jewish state in order to go back to that way of life to worshipping the one and only true God in a Jewish way. The IPOB leader said that Biafrans won’t be flocking to Israel if they are emancipated but would return to Biafra land and remain there.
He also spoke about his arrest and also being locked away for 19 months for demanding for independence.
He said that the Nigerian army came to his house to kill him and 28 people died in the process. He said his people evacuated him before the army could get to his bedroom and smuggled him out of Nigeria.
In the interview, Kanu alleged that 28 persons were killed during the army operation, which was largely felt around his father’s residence in Umahia, Abia state.
“When I came out (of prison), I continued to preach to my people. I continued to practise my Jewish religion,” he said.
“And one day, the Nigerian army came to my house to kill me. They killed 28 people in their attempt to kill me.
“My people evacuated me before they came to my bedroom. They took me away and smuggled me out of Nigeria. I needed some time to recover which I did and then, had to make my way to Israel.”
The IPOB leader added that he feels “relieved” that he “managed to make it” to Israel, “the only place I feel safe in the world.”
He said he could have gone back to England (where he had been for years) “but I still don’t feel safe in England. That is why I stayed back in Israel.”