Nnamdi Kanu is known by most Nigerians for several reasons and has been dubbed several names, both from lovers and supposed enemies or individuals, government officials, including the presidency who hates him and what he stands for. In the face of the people he represents, he is a saviour, a prophet and a ‘supreme commander’ destined to take his people to the place of their dream. In the eyes of the government and people who see him otherwise, he is a conman, a propagandist who has mastered the incredible game of propaganda and a cheap coward.
Regardless, Kanu is one who takes huge pride in not only bragging but promising to do certain things he is incapable of. He is often regarded and called the ‘Supreme Leader’ of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the same group he leads. Kanu, over time, has attained a god-like status and commands a cult-followership of irate, easily angered individuals who make up the IPOB group.
In this post, we talk about the biography of Nnamdi Kanu, his activism status and his net worth as the leader of the IPOB group and the director of Radio Biafra.
Nnamdi Kanu Biography
Nnamdi Kanu (born 25 September 1967 as Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Okwu Kanu in Isiama Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State) is a British political activist who is regarded as the ‘Supreme Leader’ of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Director of Radio Biafra. Kanu is the leader of the separatist group, IPOB and has been in a long-standing feud with the Nigerian government, more importantly, under Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Kanu was born in Isiama Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, the Republic of Biafra. His father goes by the name HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) and his mother, Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu. He attended Library Avenue Primary School and went to Government College Umuahia for his secondary education. And initially attended the University of Nsukka (UNN) before leaving two years after. There have been speculations that he was rusticated from UNN while others claim Kanu’s grades were poor, leading to being advised to withdraw from the institution. He later gained admission and studied Political Economics at London Guildhall University.
Kanu’s brand of activism is not strange but seems to be a long time ago since anyone demonstrated the kind of activism he exhibited. His style of activism is one that involves bragging, insults or name-calling and empty chest-beating. Kanu, under Goodluck Jonathan, former vice-president and later president of Nigeria, Kanu believed in the Nigerian project and was captured on a video claiming ‘Nigeria is one’ in 2012.
An unknown Kanu at the time immediately changed grounds and resorted to verbal attacks on the Yoruba ethnic group and the then newly elected president of Nigeria, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Kanu’s angst against the Yoruba nation was not in any way different from that of most people from the South East at the time; a non-performing Goodluck Jonathan was ousted through Northern and South West alliance. And although Jonathan was from Bayelsa, the South-South region of the country, the Igbos, from the South East greatly benefitted from his administration and an open opposition game against Buhari meant the region had dug its own pit.
During his podcast in his UK studios on Radio Biafra, Kanu referred to all Igbo ladies as prostitutes, a claim which sparked outrage among non-Igbos who were more than interested in knowing if Kanu’s accusation about Igbo ladies was true.
99.9% of Igbo girls are prostitutes and whores!
– Nnamdi Kanu (2016)
On the 5th September 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was a guest speaker at the World Igbo Congress which was held in Los Angeles, where he told his audience “we need guns and we need bullets”. In an interview in June 2017, Kanu explained his comment saying that he demanded bullets and guns from a group of US-based Nigerians for self-defense against the incessant attacks on Igbos by Fulani herdsmen which were currently reoccurring in Biafra lands.
…we need guns and we need bullets
– Nnamdi Kanu (2015)
Nnamdi Kanu and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the same he heads and leads, have used boycott mainly as their form of protest. In certain cases where this failed, civil disobedience followed.
Prior to the 2019 presidential election, IPOB had threatened to boycott the election. According to the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, “It [the boycott] is a multi-faceted approach. It is civil disobedience, passive resistance, it is an expression of our resentment of Nigeria and what it represents”.
His position on election boycotts was widely criticized by local Nigerian politicians who argued to the contrary. On the eve of the election, Nnamdi Kanu lifted the boycott position and urged Biafrans to participate in the election after which he described as his condition as “signed, sealed and delivered”. His shift was received in different quarters as being open to the appeal and opinions of others.
On 18 October 2015, it was reported that Nnamdi Kanu had been arrested in Lagos State by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS). Kanu had sneaked into Nigeria using a fake name but the DSS relying on its intelligence searched the hotel he was lodged in and captured him. Below are the words of Temisan John, the DSS operative who led the arrest:
However, relying on accurate intelligence, the team decided to conduct a physical search on all the hotel rooms, leading to the arrest of Kanu in Room 303, where he was caught hibernating with a young girl named Maryam Ibezimakor, with all his broadcasting and communication gadgets set for use.
It was then discovered that Kanu checked in under the name Nwanekaenyi Ezebuiro. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the command headquarters.
– DSS Operative, Temisan John.
Kanu had told his solicitors that on 14 October 2015, he was arrested by the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the State Security Service (SSS), in his hotel room at the Golden Tulip Essential Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State. The solicitors in a press briefing said, between 14 and 17 October 2015 their client’s whereabouts were unknown until 18 October 2015, when the press media broke the news of his arrest and detention by the SSS in Abuja.
On 19 October 2015, it was reported that Nnamdi Kanu had been granted bail after a secret arraignment at Magistrate Court, Wuse 11. However, the bail seemed “controversial” and there were claims the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”.
Kanu was finally arraigned on 23 November 2015 in an Abuja Magistrate Court for the first time for charges of “criminal conspiracy, intimidation, and membership of an illegal organization by Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS). The charges violate “Section 97, 97B and 397” of Nigeria’s penal code. Chief Magistrate S. Usman had, at the last adjourned date, berated the Department of State Services (DSS) over its failure to produce Kanu in court on the two consecutive times the matter came up before the court.
On 20 October 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was released on bail. However, media sources supporting the objectives of IPOB called the bail “controversial” and claimed the DSS announced the bail only “to calm the angry people of Biafra”. Kanu has finally been released on bail by Justice Binta Nyako for health reasons.
Kanu disappeared from public view after his home was raided by the Nigerian military in September 2017. There had been speculations regarding his whereabouts for over a year with members of his IPOB accusing the Buhari government of masterminding his abduction. He would later reappear in October 2018 after photographs and videos of him in Israel were widely circulated on social media.
It was widely speculated that Nnamdi Kanu had made a secret deal with the Federal government who in turn moved him secretly away from Nigeria, to Israel.
Kanu has since the beginning of his advocacy made highly controversial comments on various occasions. As a matter of fact, Nnamdi Kanu is the most controversial activist ever in Nigeria, using unfounded ideas, multiple name-callings and derogatory words to describe not only the government but other parts of Nigeria and her people.
Below is a list of some controversial statements made by Kanu, which can all be found on the internet:
- Nnamdi Kanu in 2016 made a podcast on his Radio Biafra, announcing that 99.9% of Igbo girls are prostitutes.
- Sometime in 2017, a video of Kanu was released wherein he issued an open death threat to former Nigerian president Chief Obasanjo. He had told a gathering of supporters at his home that if any harm comes to him, members of IPOB should eliminate Obasanjo and his lineage. This was in reference to Obasanjo’s statement at a gathering in Abuja that all must be done to Stop IPOB.
- Prior to Nnamdi Kanu’s first visit to Nigeria, he made a call that Igbos should boycott ‘Yoruba churches’ and possibly attack ‘Yoruba pastors’ who visited the East. Around the time was when the General Overseer of the Deeper Life Ministries, Pastor Kumuyi was to visit the South East. The pastor’s trip to the southeast was canceled out of fear.
- Kanu had promised members of the IPOB and his father’s kinsmen shortly after his release that he would go to Aso Rock and severe the head of the president, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
Does Nnamdi Kanu Have a Job?
No, Nnamdi Kanu has no job other than being the director of Radio Biafra and the ‘Supreme Commander’ of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). He makes money and is being funded by donations from Igbos across the globe who believe in the Biafran struggle. The IPOB also levies its members monthly for N1,000 fee monthly which is supposedly used to fund the Biafra agenda.
Nnamdi Kanu Net Worth
Nnamdi Kanu born Nwannekaenyi Nnamdi Okwu Kanu is the Director of Radio Biafra and the ‘Supreme Commander’ of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with an estimated net worth of $277,233 (N100 Million). Kanu’s major source of wealth is donations from across the globe for the Biafran struggle which has been claimed that he diverts for personal use, according to former top IPOB members who fell out with Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu reportedly sits on a massive reserve of monetary contributions sent in by Igbos from around the world who believe in Biafra. The same is being used to periodically cater and manage Radio Biafra.