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Nigeria: Arrest of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu sparks diplomatic row with UK

By Chinedu Asadu
Posted on Friday, 9 July 2021 18:23, updated on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 10:54

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu is seen at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria 20 January 2016 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

For many in Nigeria, there’s a feeling of déjà vu about the capture of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu by President Muhammadu Buhari's administration. That's because in 1984, then as a military head of state, Buhari engaged cross-border security operatives in a failed attempt to kidnap and smuggle home from London a Nigerian fugitive and former minister, Umaru Dikko.

Now, as a democratically elected president, his government’s decision to “intercept” Kanu, who is also a British national, has sparked a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UK.

More than a week after Kanu, who leads the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), was “intercepted” – as the Nigerian officials put it – on 29 June, the government has not yet provided details of the operation.