Uchechi Kanu, wife of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), says if Nigerians had allowed an Igbo person to rule, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu would not have failed.
Ojukwu led the Biafran army that unsuccessfully tried to secede from Nigeria in 1967.
In an interview with BBC Igbo, Uchechi said the Igbo deserve more than they are getting from the country.
“Nigerians will not allow an Igbo person lead the country but if they had allowed, Ojukwu wouldn’t have failed,” she said.
Uchechi also said she is not aware of the whereabouts of her husband, adding that she is not sure if he is alive or dead.
She said the last time she spoke with him, via a telephone conversation, was when the army raided their Abia residence in October.
Uchechi insisted that her husband is in the custody of the army.
“The IPOB people are not sleeping. The army is going to tell them where their leader is. Keeping Nnamdi Kanu does not mean that IPOB is asleep,” Uchechi said.
“I don’t know where my husband is. If he is dead or alive, I don’t know. People that are supposed to answer these questions are the army.
“The last time I saw him was when the army came to shoot in our house. He called me and asked if I was hearing the gunshots. I heard the gunshots and started shouting and asked him what was wrong.
“He said they are shooting and he is inside the house. That was the last time we spoke.”
Making reference to an interview granted by Lai Mohammed, minister of information, Uchehi said government had arrested her husband twice and released him when people mounted pressure on them.
“Of course, that is what they will say, that they don’t know where he is. Lai Mohammed said he is not in their custody. That is what happened in another part of Africa that IPOB people were showing the world when they held him at first in 2015,” she said.
“I also asked them where he was and they claimed not to know. They released him afterwards. They have done it the first and second time, now they are lying about it for the third time. So, when they have done it twice and still claimed not to be the ones, would you believe?”
She said it was untrue that her husband was trying to divide the country.
Asked if Kanu regrets his action given the situation, Uchechi said her husband “can never say had I known”.
“This is what everybody is seeing that we want. My husband is not alone. He is fighting for the Biafrans. He wants togetherness. He is not coming out to be enemies with anybody. Our own ways are different, we do things differently,” she said.
“The way they are treating us is different from the way they are treating other people. The Hausas act differently to each other than the way they act to Igbos. We want to leave. It is not a bad thing. So many other cities are leaving.
“If you don’t have a strong mind, you cannot fight a strong battle. They are with Nnamdi Kanu and they think the battle is over but it is not over. People have been asking questions. Our people are angry.
“I hope he is alive in their custody. I know who I married, he can never say had I known. There is no way.”