*Says ‘your demand for Nnamdi Kanu’s release, heavy, runs contrary to separation of power
* FG planning to kill Kanu, declare emergency rule in S/East, S/South —IPOB
By Clifford Ndujihe &Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Levinus Nwabughiogu
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, told some Igbo leaders and serving ministers, who met him to demand for the unconditional release of the leader of the Indigenous people of Buafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, that the demand was heavy but he would consider it.
The IPOB leader, is currently standing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The President met the Igbo leaders under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, at the grey room close to his main office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He told the 93-year-old statesman and his entourage that the demand they made was an extremely difficult one.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said though the demand was heavy, he will consider it.
He said: “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. 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.”
Stressing his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, President Buhari said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and brought back to the country, “I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”
The President condoled with Chief Amechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.
The nonagenarian had described the situation in the South-East as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting that businesses have collapsed, education crumbling, and fear everywhere.
He pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, requesting that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive, “he (Kanu) would no longer say the things he had been saying,” stressing that he could control him, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”
Chief Amechi said twice he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu in the past, and the latter rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.
He concluded: “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 you quenched the fire.”
Other people in the visiting delegation were former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Mbazulike Amechi.
Also present at the meeting were Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of State for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba;
Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd).
It will be recalled that the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami recently said that exploring political solution in the IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu issue was not foreclosed.
The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo; former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; South-East monarchs and religious leaders from the zone were among those who have canvassed for political solution in the IPOB imbroglio.
A host of the leaders prevailed on IPOB to cancel its Seven-Day sit-at-home directive that paved the way for a peaceful governorship election in Anambra on November 6 and 9 with a promise to interface with the government to address the IPOB agitation and attendant issues.
Meanwhile, President Buhari’s promise to release Kanu came hours after the IPOB claimed that the Federal Government was plotting to eliminate Kanu, and declare emergency rule in South-East and South-South geo-political zones.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, the IPOB said: “We wish to alert Biafrans and the entire humanity about the plans by the wicked and oppressive Fulani controlled Federal Government of Nigeria 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 serious by everybody.
“The intelligence report at our disposal reveal that the wicked Nigeria 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. Nigeria is further aggrieved by the humiliating defeat it suffered at the just-concluded November 6 Anambra State governorship election which the federal government believe was made possible by our wisdom to cancel our earlier declared one week sit-at-home order. Our action was considered the master stroke that shattered their plans to manipulate the outcome of the poll in the eventuality that people did not come out to vote.
“Irked by the heroic role of our Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in raising the consciousness of not only Biafrans but other Indigenous nationalities about the fraud called Nigeria, the Fulani cabal who are the beneficiaries of this fraud are bent on eliminating him at all cost. They want to reward him with death and damn the consequences. “They want to kill him in DSS custody. Since he was abducted they have never allowed him to change his clothes. They have confined him to a solitary cell 23 hours a day. They have neither allowed his personal physicians access to him nor has any attention been given to his life-threatening medical condition. They have not allowed any medical investigation into the substance injected on him during his abduction in Kenya. They have denied him his right to practice his faith by denying him his religious shawl brought to him by his lawyers.
“We therefore, urge the UN, the EU and the global community to take note of these physical and psychological torture being meted to him by the DSS and hold NIGERIA responsible should anything happen to our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. This matter is so serious that we want all Biafrans to be vigilant. Nigeria should know that nothing should happen to our leader!
Nnamdi Kanu: Yoruba Ronu commends Igbo leaders for meeting with Buhari
Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, a socio-cultural group has commended Igbo leaders for taking the bold step to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to secure the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement titled “Igbo Leaders Parley is Both A “Dialogue And An Hat Trick” signed by the President of the group, Akin Malaolu on Friday and made available to Vanguard in Abuja, Yoruba Ronu Forum urged the south west leaders to emulate the Igbo leaders.
“We must commend the confident steps taken by the real leaders of the southeast of Nigeria to dialogue with President Mohammad Buhari on the state of IGBO nation and the predicament of their son Nnamdi Kanu who through no fault of his moved against his fatherland with good followership.