Nigeria struggles to shield Kenya from international backlash over mysterious circumstances of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s interception.

A Presidency statement yesterday said the separatist leader was “detained as a result of cross-border cooperation”

“This international operation was executed in a closely coordinated fashion, following which he was handed over to our National Intelligence Agency, NIA, and then returned to Nigeria to face the Law.”

The statement, however, did not indicate the border location where the detention took place. Neither did it say which border security effected the detention and handed over Kanu to the NIA.

 “The only thing that makes sense from this statement is if Kanu’s plane was hijacked mid-air and forced to land in Nigeria,” a bemused security analyst said.

“Otherwise, anyone crossing a border on land is presumed to be moving from one country to another.

“He can be arrested by security of the originating country or the destination country.”

Response to Southern Governors

The Presidency, however, appears to be responding to the concerns of southern governors on recent manner of arrests of citizens.

Without mentioning their names, Southern governors deplored the way Nnamdi Kanu was arrested and efforts made to arrest Sunday Igboho.

The Presidency said in reply:

“It must be highlighted that the government respects fundamental rights of citizens to express their views and recognizes this as a democratic tenet.

“However, any attempt to build an armoury, coupled with plans, either subtle or expressed, to undermine our unity as a nation will not be condoned.

It also commended the manner of effecting arrests by the security agencies.

“The successes of our security agencies must be commended as they have demonstrated significant deftness, guile and secrecy in carrying out these missions.

And it ended with a promise to deal with kidnappers and bandits in the Northwest:

“This level of professionalism must be sustained and brought to bear as we focus on extracting from our society those who have found a new trade in targeting students, rural dwellers and our citizens in the Northwest.”