The exiled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafria(IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has asserted that all people of Igbo ethnicity are Jews, but the influx of Christianity has eroded some of their Jewish traditions.
Nnamdi Kanu, who is seeking the creation of an Igbo-dominated, Jewish Biafra state in the South-Eastern and Southern regions of Nigeria said this during a recent interview on an Israeli TV channel.
Kanu, who recently appeared in Jerusalem, Israel after several months of speculations about his whereabouts, told the Isareli TV channel that Biafra has a population of about 70 million people scattered around the world. But those that have identified themselves with their Jewish heritage are about 50 million people.
Asked if the Igbo people actually practiced Judaism and in what way, Kanu said “A significant number of them practice Judaism; in terms of their prayers, in terms of the Torah they read, in terms of the items they used to pray, in terms of the recitation of their prayers, a significant segment of the population practice it as we do at IPOB”
Kanu further said: “When Christianity came with colonialism, a lot of our Jewish heritage was surpressed we were made to feel ashamed of our Jewishness. Luckily for us a lot of people maintain that tradition till this day.”
“If you go to Umueri in Anambra state, it is there. Even the encyclopedia Britannica of 1929 mentioned it that the igbos are the jews of Africa. All the jewish traditions in the book of Leviticus, we practice them.”
Kanu also alleged that the Nigerian Army tried to kill him. He said, “Nigerian Army came to my house to kill me. They killed 28 people in the process.”
When asked why he wasn’t killed, he said, “My people evacuated me before they could get to me. And they smuggled me out of Nigeria.
“I would say, I’m relieved that I managed to make it to the only place that I feel safe in the whole world (Israel). I could have gone back to England, but I still don’t feel safe enough to go back to England.”