Buhari Set to Release Nnamdi Kanu From DSS Custody on One Condition
President Mohammadu Buhari is set to release the embattled IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on one condition with serious implications.
Buhari is confronted with a fresh appeal for the release of the detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who said yesterday, that granting the request “has serious implications for the country.
“I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity,” Buhari told a delegation of a South-East group – Highly Respected Igbo Greats – led by First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who visited him in Abuja to intercede for the separatist movement leader.
Kanu is currently facing trial for treason related charges.
“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious,” the President said.
He said that since Kanu is already standing trial, his (Buhari’s) intervention would go against the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.
Turning to 92-year old Chief Amaechi, Buhari said: “God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
The President condoled with Chief Amaechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.
The nonagenarian had described the current situation in the Southeast as “painful and pathetic”. Businesses, he said, have collapsed while education is crumbling, and there is fear everywhere.
He pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, to address the problem.
He pleaded that Kanu is released to him personally, saying “he (Kanu) would no longer say the things he has been saying.”
The only surviving First Republic Minister said he could control Kanu “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”
Chief Amaechi said he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu twice in the past following which the IPOB leader rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.
He said: “I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr. President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and quenched the fire.”
Also on the delegation were former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, a former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Mbazulike Amaechi.
Government officials at the meeting included the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Ogbonnaya Onu; National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige; Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; and Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
Ohanaeze hails Buhari/Igbo leaders dialogue
The Chidi Ibe faction of Ohanaeze welcomed yesterday’s dialogue as a good move.
It said Buhari’s meeting with ” neutral Igbo leaders led by Pa Mbazulike Amaechi” signalled the beginning of the process for Kanu’s release and hoped that the Federal Government ” will be sincere enough to keep their side of the bargain and shouldn’t be listening to the deceitful tales of Southeast politicians.”
Secretary-General of the faction, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, advised IPOB to channel its “antagonism on the Southeast politicians that have squandered the people’s resources from 1999 to date,” and “conduct forensic scrutiny on the financial recklessness of former Southeast governors, former federal lawmakers, and others who have received allocation and constituency funds since 1999 to date, and if IPOB tackles southeast politicians, they will sit up and render their stewardship to the people.
“We must hold our leaders accountable as they constitute the major problem in the Southeast. IPOB should face Southeast political leaders before tackling Buhari…it should query why there are no available hospitals, schools in the rural areas of the Southeast.This is the new narrative to move and it will make southeast political leaders face developmental projects rather than siphoning the wealth of the people.”
It dismissed as a ruse allegations that the Federal Government planned to kill Kanu in detention
Spokesman of IPOB,Emma Powerful, had said yesterday that the government planned to kill Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The group claimed it had uncovered plans by the Federal Government to “eliminate our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and declare a State of Emergency in the entire South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria. This plan is real and must be taken very seriously by everybody.
“The intelligence report at our disposal reveals that the Nigerian government is not comfortable with the international attention that Kanu’s rendition has received and the fate that awaits her at the International Criminal Court ICC, hence its contemplation of doing its worst.
“Irked by the heroic role of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in raising the consciousness of not only Biafrans but other indigenous nationalities about Nigeria,the beneficiaries of this fraud are bent on eliminating him at all cost. They want to reward him with death and damn the consequences.”
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) also expressed support for any approach to a constructive resolution of the crisis in the Southeast, although, it blamed the federal authorities for instigating the state of insecurity.
The association, in a statement yesterday, said the crisis “started when the President refused to accord the Igbo nation the constitutionally mandated and required equity and equality of citizenship of Nigeria by not considering anybody in the South East to head any security under his watch.
“Nobody from the South East is holding any command or leadership positions of a security institution under this current dispensation.
“The over 60 million Igbo citizens of Nigeria were practically pushed out of Nigeria by Mr. President when he did not trust any Igbo person for the appointment of or into any strategic dimensions as one of the security chiefs under his government.
“So Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB are just mere manifestation of the deep-seated collective angst of the Igbo nation instigated by marginalisation and apartheid policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s exclusionist policies targeted against Igbos.”