The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is reportedly set to use a clone of its leaders, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to address its members via online video streaming as the group, which has been outlawed as a terror organization, remains under intense pressure to prove that Kanu is still alive and had not succumbed to coronavirus diseases as reported in some media.
IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, had released a handwritten note purportedly from Kanu announcing that “I will be LIVE here on Facebook, on this page at 7pm with no edited speech or digitally remastered video by the Chinese.”
The assertion was in response to a report by online journalist, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo, who had revealed that doctors in an Italian hospital have confirmed Kanu’s demise from COVID-19. She had exclusively reported the death of the deceased Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, from COVID-19 two weeks before the announcement of his death.
A source familiar with the situation said “The senior layer of IPOB has weighed the situation and it is truly a precarious one because people are asking for Kanu to appear in person on video as audio messages could be faked by anyone with access to state of the art software. By a stroke of luck, there had been a contingency plan long in the offing.”
Investigations revealed that the contingency plan referred to by the source may not be unconnected with the cloning of Kanu, whose DNA material was harvested by the scientist when he was on exile in Israel. The decision to create a clone was out of IPOB’s fear that he could be assassinated at any time and it would be then be left without a leader. The clone is now being put to use after he reportedly died of the virus.
According to the source, while not specifically making reference to a clone, “IPOB, being a superior and more dynamic organization, has taken care of all possible outcomes. People want to see Ohamadike Nnamdi Kanu on video, they will see him, and it will not be any photo trick, it will be superior science.”
Pressed further for details, the source only said, “Stand by and watch on the appointed time that our leader gave.”
Another source in the security circle who craved anonymity because he did not have the clearance to speak revealed that even the international counterparts of Nigerian security agencies are aware that the IPOB leader is deceased from COVID-19 in the worst-case scenario and is certainly in no shape to anchor a video stream if he is still considered as being alive.
The source said, “At the very best Kanu is on life support and disconnecting him to make a video broadcast will certainly kill him. So, if IPOB says they are bringing Kanu to talk to people on video then it tallies with intelligence from the past that he might have created a clone of himself to evade arrest at that time.
“The update we have is that someone that looks like him have been working international consultants, voice actors, a movie director and a body language expert to recreate the persona of Kanu without anyone noticing. The brief if that whoever will appear in the said video stream will be shorter, bulkier and slightly fairer than the Kanu we once have in custody,” he said.
In his view, getting the biometrics of the person that will appear in the video is key to verifying their true identity. He also hinted that the recent social media postings purportedly from Kanu betray slight variations from his original posts, which further fuels concerns that someone else is posting messages on his behalf.