Their Leader Is Missing, but Nigeria’s Biafran Separatists Aren’t Backing Down

Their Leader Is Missing, but Nigeria’s Biafran Separatists Aren’t Backing Down
Uboha Damia, 75, who fought for the separatists during Nigeria’s civil war, attends an event honoring veterans in Umuahia, Nigeria, May 28, 2017 (AP photo by Lekan Oyekanmi).

UMUAHIA, Nigeria—Six months after the raid, the house still lies in shambles. Its walls are pocked with bullet holes; clothes are strewn about the grounds; and the windshields of the cars on the property are shattered.

Located in the city of Umuahia, the capital of Abia state in southeast Nigeria, the house belongs to the family of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or IPOB, a group that wants this corner of the country to form a breakaway nation dominated by members of the Igbo ethnic group. On the morning of Sept. 14, Kanu and other members of his family were sitting at home, witnesses say, when a detachment of Nigerian soldiers stormed the compound, shooting automatic weapons indiscriminately into the air. The IPOB says more than 20 of its members either were killed during the attack or disappeared after it. Kanu himself has not been seen or heard from since.

Listen to Eromo Egbejule discuss this article on WPR’s Trend Lines Podcast. His audio starts at 16:01.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.