Some youths who claimed they were supporters of IPOB told AfroLife the visit was called off as a result of pressure on the organisers
The much publicised visit to Rome of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu never come to pass after all. Kanu had been scheduled to visit the Italian capital late November and then Padova in the north early December.
The coordinator of IPOB in the Rome area, Anthony Mokwunye, told AfroLife few days to the scheduled visit that Kanu would be in Rome to preside over a town hall meeting, where he would rub mind with “our IPOB family.”
He also disclosed that several meetings were also schedule throughout his time in the city where he would meet with authority figures in the Italian political establishment. Invitations where sent out as well as handbills while posters were located at some places in the city.
AfroLife also gathered that Hotel Capital Inn, down town Casilina area of the city, with a dense population of migrants, was booked for the town hall meeting. That of Padova was scheduled for Net Tower Hotel. The visit was not to be, because hours to Kanu’s purported arrival, AfroLife was alerted that the visit had been called off.
The invitation the organisers issued for the visit
That action of the organisers of the visit has sparked off controversy. Some youths who claimed they were supporters of IPOB told AfroLife the visit was called off as a result of pressure on the organisers. Asked from whom or where such pressure was coming from. They point accusing fingers at the Nigerian government.
When AfroLife contacted Mokwunye he denied the organisers were pressured to call off the visit, noting that Kanu had a change of plan to be in the United States. “That is not true, my Director (Kanu) was to go for a diplomatic invitation in the US. Otherwise who the hell will pressurise and stop the coming of IPOB director, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to be here?”
AfroLife sort to know if the Nigerian authorities had a hand in the aborted visit of the IPOB leader. A high level officer at the Nigerian Mission in Rome while acknowledging that the Embassy was in the know of IPOB activities in Italy, denied that the Nigeria government has anything to do with the aborted visit.
IPOB was proscribed as a terrorist organisation on 18 September 2017 by the Federal High Court in Abuja. IPOB filed a case against the government of Nigeria in 2018 to reverse the court’s decision.
Handbill circulated in Rome for the visit that never happened