“Two prominent pro-Biafran groups have denied responsibility for hijacking a ship off the Nigerian coast and demanding the release of Nnamdi Kanu as a ransom,” Newsweek reported.
According to Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, spokesman for the Nigerian military, confirmed the Militants claiming to support the Biafran cause hijacked a merchant ship in the Bakassi Peninsula, a disputed region between Nigeria and Cameroon, on Friday. He called the incident an “act of sabotage.”
Sources say that a spokesperson for the hijackers identified as General Ben reportedly issued an ultimatum to the Nigerian government to release Kanu within 31 days or they would blow up the ship with crew onboard.
On the other hand, the Indeginous People Of Biafra’s (IPOB’s) media officer, Emma Powerful said “Many people are sympathetic to the Biafran actualization cause because of the treatment meted to the entire Biafran land,” and “no IPOB member has a hand” in the hijacking.
Furthermore, another pro-Biafran group, the Movement for the Actualization of a Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), has also denied responsibility for the incident. They went further and suggested it was carried out by former militants involved in the destruction of oil pipelines and facilities in the Niger Delta during the mid-2000s. Uchenna Madu, a MASSOB leader, said that General Ben was not a separatist angling for a sovereign state of Biafra, but that “some Niger Delta militants have shown interest in working with us,” according to AP.