By Levinus Nwabughiogu, ABUJA
President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to consider the request of the south-east leaders on the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu will bring peace in the south east of Nigeria, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chris Azubogu has said.
It will be recalled that some notable Igbo leaders from the south-east geopolitical zone led by a nonagenarian first republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazuluike Ameachi met with the President last Saturday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where the promise was made.
It will also be recalled that Kanu, the Leader of Indegenous Peoples of Biafra IPOB is standing trail of treasonable charges preferred against him by the federal government.
Before now, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubarkar Malami SAN had said that a political solution to the matter was a possibility.
Speaking on the issue in Abuja, the member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Azubogu who represents Nnewi South/North/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency of Anambra State said that President Buhari has shown pragmatism with his promise.
He said: “The news of the visit of select leaders of Igbo Nation to Mr. President on the issue of unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu is a welcome development.
“It creates an avenue whereby there will be proper engagement, discussion just on the issue that bothers on our national peace and co-existence. And the reason being that creating an avenue for engagements, discussion and negotiations to resolve certain issues.
“Instead of solving certain issues legally, you solve them politically because it’s more of a political issue than a legal one.
“If you look at the impact of the issue on our national polity, the social, political and economic impacts, you will understand that one of the best ways of resolving the issue is through negotiations, through engagements.
“There are things you do and you become a prisoner of conscience or political prisoner rather than some body who committed a crime against the State.
“That is why it is acceptable that engagement will come especially when you considered the fact that there is a perceived impression that some people don’t want others treated fairly in the country.
“They are not free and feel there is injustice being meted out to them. When issues come to that, you have to be very careful because there is a lot of emotions and sentiments. You must have a conversation.
“You cannot say politics is not involved. Democracy is built on people having constant negotiations, interactions and engagements.
“You heard Mr. President clearly. There is no ambiguity in his statement. He mentioned things that are his limitations but he said that he will look into it.
“That’s a very pragmatic way of solving and engaging. He was not brash about it. He was very mature. He came out and spoke in a very friendly and respectful manner.
“Even his reception to the people that visited him was very cordial and mutual. This can be resolved.”
On the opposition being mounted against the consideration by the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Azubogu simply said that the northern body would not understand the situations.
The lawmaker emphasized the need to listen to each and resolve issues militating against the development of the country.
“If you are in a particular divide on any issue, the way an Igbo man will see it is not the way an Arewa man will see it. That’s the difference between leaders.
“It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. You must listen to people and know why they are behaving the way they are behaving.
“We need to listen to each other. I am in National Assembly. I am a nationalist. We must be seen as someone who must provide leadership for everyone by engaging, listening and doing what is necessary within the ambience of the powers. Like this this one, the President has the prerogative of mercy.
“Let’s resolve these things and let there be peace because it is impacting negatively on everybody.
“If you look at the north east, there is no economic activity going on, you go the north west, banditry. Go to the south east, there is sit at home every Monday.
“These are the things that are killing our economy, causing a very high level of unproductivity, our GDP is dropping by the day.
“Any day you stop working in any part of the country, you are losing billions in revenue. Imagine the economic impact of sit-at-home every Monday in the South East where most people depend on their daily income.
“No well meaning person will fault that. That’s why the President said he will consider it. This is the way we need to engage and resolve issues,” Azubogu said.