By Steve Oko, Aba
The kinsmen of the re-arrested leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, have claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s lopsided appointments in favour of his Fulani and Northern kinsmen are fueling the renewed agitation for self-determination in parts of the country.
President General of Isiama Afaraukwu Development Union, Umuahia North Council of Abia State, Chief Obioma Ebeogu; and his Vice, Chief Benjamin Ohaeri, made the claims in an interview with our Correspondent.
Chief Obioma who spoke on the heels of Kanu’s alleged “abduction from Kenya and extraordinary rendition to Nigeria”, insisted that their son committed no crime but was only complaining about the marginalisation of his people.
He argued that if President Buhari had given a sense of belonging to other tribes particularly Ndigbo in his political appointments, many people would not bother to seek independence from Nigeria.
Obioma argued that the glaring disparity in the distribution of political offices and other appointments by the Buhari-led administration is the reason the agitation for self-autonomy by different sections of the country is on the increase.
The PG urged President Buhari to rather consider the issues raised by Kanu and other self-autonomy proponents instead of clamping them into detention.
Kanu’s kinsmen who raised concern over his health condition appealed to the federal government to grant him access to his personal physicians.
They said that “agitation for self-determination is never a crime,” and told the federal government “to stop treating Kanu as a common criminal.”
Likening Kanu to Martin Luther King Jr who vigorously faught for the emancipation of the Blacks in America, the IPOB’s leader’s kinsmen urged Buhari to stop seeing him as a terrorist but a heroic freedom fighter seeking the good of his people.
” Our son is like Martin Luther fighting for the liberation of his people. The federal government should release him and engage him with a view to addressing the the issues he is raising”.
They further demanded that Kanu’s family should be granted unfettered access to him.
The kinsmen also urged the President to prevail on the Department of State Services, DSS, to allow Kanu sign the request for consular services and diplomatic assistance by the United Kingdom.
They said preventing the IPOB leader from signing such request as alleged by his lawyer constituted to a huge infringement of his fundamental rights.