By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
Rights activist, Barr. Saint Moses Ogbonna, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari may be afraid that the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, will return to the trenches if pardoned by the federal government.
In an interview with Vanguard, Ogbonna further stated that the President is not convinced that Kanu was yet to show remorse over the activities leading to his arrest.
He urged the IPOB leader to stop behaving as if the President cannot do anything other than pardoning him because he is agitating for Biafra.
Ogbonna insisted that there may be a political solution which depends on the approach, stressing that the President is still on course on his promise to Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi.
In his words; “President Muhammadu Buhari has power to pardon Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. But does the President see Nnamdi Kanu as one who has shown remorse to change his ways if pardoned?
“I think Kanu should stop behaving in a way that suggests that the President can’t do anything other than pardoning him since he is agitating for Biafra.
“Buhari’s fear may be that if Nnamdi Kanu is pardoned, he will return to the trenches to continue the agitation.
“Nnamdi Kanu’s issue is beyond the ordinary political issue. The matter at hand is beyond the ethnic, and what a democratically elected president can resolve as a political issue with the Igbo want him to do it.
“It would have been a different thing if Kanu was agitating for Biafra under a body that is Biafra, but he has been doing so under a body called IPOB which is a registered organization that not all Biafrans belong to.
“A reasonable President will allow the court to continue to adjudicate over the matter and later take a decision.
“This is more democratic than the President just asking the court to pardon him. Saying that he won’t release Kanu doesn’t mean that there can’t be a political solution. Negotiations can still go on.
“After this, the court can be approached on the next step to his freedom. However, the problem has been that any move on negotiation may be laced with propaganda.
“This is not good for the move for Kanu’s freedom.”
The activist also faulted what he described as in not considering the place of Igbo elders in his agitation.
“The IPOB strategy was faulty because they didn’t consider the place of Igbo elders to make it an Igbo agitation.
“It is a bad strategy that their leader, Nnamdi Kanu was talking as if there was no other person in Igbo land except him. He called other leaders names with all sorts of propaganda.
“This is why people, especially the presidency, started seeing it as something else.”