Suspected Biafra agitators and their Niger Delta collaborators have hijacked a merchant ship and threatened to blow it up with its foreign crew if authorities do not release the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Confirming the incident, defense spokesman, Major General Rabe Abubakar, the Defense on Monday said the ship was hijacked on Friday.
He described the situation as “an act of sabotage”, without elaboration.
Reports said the hijackers have given the government 31 days to free Kanu or say they will blow up the ship along with its crew.
Maritime industry reports indicated the vessel was an oil tanker seized about 100 miles (160 kilometres) off Nigeria’s Bakassi Peninsula, along Nigeria’s southeastern Atlantic Ocean coastline, near the border with Cameroon.
“The group boarded the tanker from two fast boats and took control over the vessel and locked the crew in the mess room” before heading for the Niger Delta, the Bulgarian-based Maritime News reported.
The ultimatum from the separatists was given at the weekend by “General Ben.” Ben is not a separatist but “some Niger Delta militants have shown interest in working with us,” said Uchena Madu, a leader of the Movement for the Actualization of a Sovereign State of Biafra.