South East Governors and Igbo leaders are under severe pressure to push the save of the leader of Indigenous People of Bifra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently facing seditious charges and has remained in the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Abuja.
Kanu’s rendition from Kenya was effected by the securities agencies over two months ago.
Many have alleged that the zone lacked responsive leadership going by the near collapse of law and order during the observance of the sit-at-home order by the IPOB in the last four weeks.
However, leading groups and civil society organisations are united that it was high time the five South East Governors joined hands with other Igbo leaders and pushed for the release of Kanu from detention.
This was as Saturday Sun authoritatively gathered that the governors of the region were already working behind the scene to secure a soft landing for the IPOB leader. A source in Abuja told us that no fewer than two South East governors may have visited Kanu in the DSS in the past four weeks and “were working hard to find a political solution to the whole thing.”
IPOB had declared a Monday-Monday sit-at-home until its leader was freed, but the exercise, which took effect on August 9, 2021, was eventually suspended after Day One. Even at that, residents of the South East continued to observe the sit-at-home, leading to the grounding of socio-economic activities in the region.
IPOB recently came out to dissociate itself from any sit-at-home, threatening to deal ruthlessly with any person caught enforcing the order in its name.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South East Parliamentary Caucus, Concerned Igbo Stakeholders Forum (CISF); Igbo think-tank, Nzuko Umunna and many others are currently seeking political solution to the Kanu conundrums.
While the governors and several Igbo leaders were seemingly displaying ‘hide and seek’ attitude to the whole issue; the South East National Assembly Caucus came out boldly within the week and spoke on the issue.
The legislators at their extraordinary session held at the Apo Legislative Quarters Abuja residence of former President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, declared that it was time to save the zone from self-destruct, while appealing to the people not to allow anyone to destroy the region.
They also elaborately discussed the issue of Nnamdi Kanu and resolved to intervene by setting up a “committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution.”
Ekweremadu who presented their resolution said they will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in this regard.
Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Spain and wife of former Biafra leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, has also weighed in on the issue and called for the immediate intervention of the governors.
According to her, it was unconscionable that armed bandits, self-declared terrorist leaders and murderous herdsmen were allowed to roam freely while their son remained in captivity, and their own leaders appeared powerless and afraid to intervene.
Describing the situation as downright dehumanizing and provocative, Bianca Ojukwu said: “Our Igbo leaders must come together and deliberate on diplomatic ways to secure Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom or at the very least, intensify efforts to ensure that he gets a fair and swift trial. It is not enough merely to harp on the devastating effects of the sit-at-home on the Igbo economy or dish out instructions to our people to normalize Monday day-to-day activities.
“Igbo leaders must come up with alternative constructive solutions that keep Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s captivity and the unjust incarceration of so many other pro-Biafra activists in the national front burner, otherwise, they will continue to rot away in unmarked cells, abandoned and forgotten. Failing this, Umuigbo will continue to demonstrate our revulsion against this oppression using the only options available to us.”
Adding that the sit-at-home was a passive resistance, she urged Igbo leaders to do what their Yoruba counterparts were doing for Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Igboho.
Also, apex Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze had during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Imo State on September 9, called for the release of Kanu and all Igbo youths in various cells across the country.
President General of Ohanaeze, George Obizor, an accomplished diplomat said the significance and substance of the Presidential visit will form a new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo Nation.
In addition, the Anambra State Elders Council also rose from its meeting in Awka, the state capital on September 15, calling on the South East Governors to confront the security situation in the zone including the frequent sit-at-home orders imposed by non-state actors.
In a communiqué by elder statesman, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Chairman, Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, they said: “These orders have been detrimental to the people of not only Anambra State but also the South-East political zone. We advise Governor Obiano to work in concert with the other South-East governors, traditional rulers of communities, Presidents General of town unions and other community leaders to end the stay-at-home orders by non-state actors.”
Secretary of Nzuko Umunna, Ngozi Odumuko has appealed to Igbo leaders to immediately arrest the crisis in the zone.
In a widely circulated letter to the Governors of South-East states; and about 45 other political, religious and traditional leaders of the region, Odumuko reasoned that irrespective of all that might have happened, “the Igbo youths are our children and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is our son.
“This very disturbing situation facing AlaIgbo is also providing a great opportunity for the Igbo leadership collective to take charge and own the narrative of the great Igbo Nation.
“Igbo Leaders and Elders should call for a political solution on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu vs Federal Government matter; Igbo leaders should please not abandon Nnamdi Kanu irrespective of whatever that might have happened in the past. Igbo youths and Igbo self-determination components should come together and have a meeting with Igbo leaders and elders. And all parties should come to the meeting with sincerity, openness and godliness.”
Meanwhile, IPOB, yesterday, commended groups, stakeholders as well as individuals making frantic efforts to secure the release of its leader.
Spokesman of the group, Emmanuel Powerful in a statement noted that their sacrifices towards the realisation of Biafra would never be forgotten.
IPOB, however, admonished some leaders from the zone, particularly the governors and religious leaders for being silent about Kanu’s plight. He said that their silence has confirmed their alleged complicity in the IPOB leader’s ordeal but urged them to imbibe the spirit of the northern elders and politicians.
Powerful stated: “It’s baffling that since June 19th that Kanu was abducted in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in clear violation of international laws, the South East and South South Governors and religious leaders are yet to openly condemn the act or take any action to register their displeasure with the impunity of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“This criminal silence strongly confirms our earlier understanding and fears that these hypocritical leaders and traitors may be part of our leader’s ordeals. While leaders from other zones are courageously speaking up for their own, governors and religious leaders from South-East and South-South have kept mute for reasons best known to them.
“Sheikh Abubakar Gumi and Fulani governors in the North have never hidden their support for bandits-killer herdsmen who they have consistently advocated amnesty for but religious leaders from Biafra land are so afraid to talk of the release of Nnamdi Kanu who committed no crime but to ask for the freedom of his people includingm these leaders and their families.”
Watch Leakblast TV channel from around the world
SUPPORT LEAKBLAST JOURNALISM OF INTEGRITY AND CREDIBILITY
Good journalism costs a lot of money.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble Endeavor.
By contributing to LeakBlast, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.