The father of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is dead.
Israel Okwu Kanu’s death was announced by the spokesman of the group, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Friday.
The elder Kanu was until his death the traditional ruler of Afaraukwu Community in Umuahia Abia State.
Mr Powerful in the statement blamed the death on ”the trauma he suffered during the invasion of his palace by Nigerian soldiers on September 14, 2017.”
Since that invasion, the IPOB leader’s parents’ whereabouts remained unknown until Mr Kanu announced the passing of his mother, Sally, in a German hospital in August.
The statement also attributed the traditional ruler’s death ”to the shock he suffered as a result of the wife’s death”.
The statement said, “we are left in no doubt the military attack on Isiama Afaraukwu and the Kanu family by the armed forces of the Federal Government of Nigeria is the principal cause of death of our leader’s parents.
“We confidently state, without fear of contradiction, that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has also sacrificed his parents in pursuit of freedom for the people of Biafra. There is no greater act of devotion to a noble cause than this.”
The group said, ”the passing of our leader’s parents will infuse us with a greater sense of determination because only by accomplishing the liberation of Biafra will we truly mourn them.”
IPOB is a secessionist group in the South-east of Nigeria that is fighting for an independent state of Biafra for the predominantly Igbo populated five states in the region.
The group, in the wake of the invasion, was proscribed and declared a terrorist group by the Federal Government.
Mr Kanu has remained in exile in Europe after the invasion.
He was charged with treason by the Federal Government and was on bail when the army invasion took place.
He recently released a statement condemning an attack on the home of one of his lawyers, in which five persons, including two policemen, were killed.