The whereabouts of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu is now a mystery as he has not seen or heard of in public five days since his residence in Umuahia, Abia State was raided by soldiers.
Kanu’s father, Igwe Israel Kanu, who is the traditional ruler of Afaraukwu Ibeku community and Ugoeze, his wife, have also not been seen since then.
The ruler’s palace became the headquarters of IPOB after his son regained freedom in April, following his detention which lasted 18 months.
Kanu’s younger brother, who is known as ‘Fine Boy’, has refused to speak on the movements of his brother as well as his parents.
There are unconfirmed reports that Kanu’s parents were arrested by soldiers during the week but the military authorities have denied this.
However, reports suggest that the security agencies have begun a manhunt for Kanu, who is facing charged related to treasonable conduct before the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja.
The IPOB leader is believed to have gone underground amid a backlash from the military authorities, south east governors and many Igbos, who have now openly condemned the activities of IPOB.
Already the police in Abia State has warned that it would arrest anyone found to be associated with the group including adorning and displaying IPOB paraphernalia.
The last time Kanu was seen in public was on Monday when he addressed some groups that came to his residence after Sunday clash between soldiers and some IPOB members.
He later drove off for what IPOB described as an “official assignment”. On his way, his convoy was allegedly attacked at a military checkpoint at Ubakala in Umuahia south local government area.
On Thursday when soldiers returned to Kanu’s residence, they fired shots in different directions, sparking tension in the community.
It was not clear if Kanu was inside his house during the operation which lasted 20 minutes.
An unspecific number of people were allegedly killed, some sustained injuries, while others were arrested.
The military has declared IPOB a terrorist organisation