Charles Agbola holds pictures of murdered family.

A man from Sheepridge is mourning the loss of his two sisters and uncle who have all been killed in political clashes in Nigeria.

Charles Agbola, who lives with his partner Marie Gordge, said there was a great deal of killing going on.

“I have lost everyone back home. Marie is all I have now,” he said, fighting back the tears.

Sheepridge family campaigning for the release of family members held in Nigerian prison. Uzochukwu Clement Ekwelonu, Charles Agbola and Marie Gordge.

Asked if he was going back to Nigeria because of the deaths, he said he couldn’t. “My life is in danger. If I go back there I will be killed too.”

Mr Agbola’s 60-year-old uncle, Agbapru, had his funeral a week last Saturday (August 20), his sister Chinasa was buried on Thursday (August 25) and his other sister Cecilia had her funeral on Saturday (August 27).

Mr Agbola is part of a Yorkshire action group campaigning for the release of political activist Nnamdi Kanu, who has been jailed in Nigeria. Mr Kanu is a leading member of one of several separatist organisations in the country's eastern state of Biafra, the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

Mr Kanu – a friend of Mr Agbola who has made visits to Huddersfield and has family living in Halifax – was reportedly abducted from his hotel room in Lagos, Nigeria, in October, last year.

He is standing trial on six counts of treasonable felony charges in Nigeria.

His wife Uchechi Okwu-Kanu is spending her time between homes in Halifax and London, but is unable to give exact details of where she lives for security reasons.

The mother-of-two said her husband had never seen their seven-month-old son, Nnabuikem. She also has a 15-year-old son, Nnaemeka.

Despite their plight, his wife says her husband will never give up his fight for Biafra to be independent.

Mr Agbola, who was born in Biafra and has also lived in Zambia, moved to England in 2013. His father, Ambrose, died in 1967 in the Nigerian-Biafran War, a three-year bloody conflict with a death toll of more than one million people.

Mr Agbola, 38, said a new generation of Biafrans were now peacefully calling for an independent Biafra. But Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria, was fighting the independence movement with military force.

Mr M K Ibrahim, country director of Amnesty International Nigeria, told how the Nigerian army had gunned down unarmed people in May this year.

He said: “Opening fire on peaceful IPOB supporters and bystanders who clearly posed no threat to anyone is an outrageous use of unnecessary and excessive force and resulted in multiple deaths and injuries.

“In one incident one person was shot dead after the authorities burst in on them while they slept.”

Read more



Vestibulum bibendum felis sit amet dolor auctor molestie. In dignissim eget nibh id dapibus. Fusce et suscipit orci. Aliquam sit amet urna lorem. Duis eu imperdiet nunc, non imperdiet libero.

Post A Comment: