Except the embattled leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. is promptly released and incorporated into the efforts at dealing with her lingering state of insecurity, Nigeria might not resolve this and the future of the South-East geopolitical zone.
Making this projection, Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo passionately appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release the detained Kanu, whom he declared as being a “critical person” in the efforts to restore peace in Nigeria, especially the South-East.
To drive home his point, Soludo volunteered to act as a surety for the IPOB leader who remains in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Baring his mind Saturday at a rally in Awka, Anambra State, South-East Nigeria, to launch the national campaign of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Soludo stressed the need for critical conversations by all major stakeholders on the parlous security situation in the South-East.
In his words: “I now want to appeal and plead and request and demand of the Federal Government and our able president led by President Buhari that a critical person (is) required around that table for that conversation to be complete for us to have an all-round approach to dealing with the issue of insecurity and discussing the future of the South-East.
“That person … and we need him urgently around the table, please release him to us … and that is Nnamdi Kanu. I’m calling on the Federal Government to please release Nnamdi Kanu.”
Noting that the South-East needs Kanu at the table, the Anambra State Governor posited that the people of the region are prepared for a “comprehensive, heart-to-heart conversation” about the future, security, and prosperity of the geopolitical zone.”
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor said: “No one should be left behind; everybody should be there. If we cannot release him unconditionally as requested by the court judgements and so on, I now offer to be the surety. Release him to me. I will keep him. Release Nnamdi Kanu to me.
“I will keep him. I will provide him shelter and anytime that you need him, we will bring him to you. Give him to me, we will house him here in Awka. Let us release him and let us bring this insecurity in the South-East to an end.”
Expressing appreciation to the President for the support of the security agencies in tackling insecurity in the region, Soludo said: “But here is the big one: as the security says, we need kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to solve this problem. We thank you for all the kinetic in terms of the force.”
Soludo further said: “We have also inaugurated the Truth, Justice, and Peace Committee in Anambra to go to the root causes, immediate and remote causes of the insecurity in the South-East, and that commission is completing its work.
“We’re also engaging the youths and implementing various forms of non-kinetic engagement. But it is now time for the Federal Government to help us with the last leg of this non-kinetic approach.”
Soludo’s call for the Kanu’s release, The News Room recalls, comes in the wake of a similar one by the Senate Chief Whip and former Governor of Abia State Orji Uzor Kalu, who had offered to stand as Kanu’s surety if granted bail again.
Abia, one of the five states that make up the present South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, is the home state of the IPOB leader, who is a British-Nigerian political activist advocating for the secession and independence of Biafra. Kanu founded IPOB in 2014. The group aims at restoring the defunct separatist state of Biafra which existed in Nigeria’s former Eastern Region and was pitted against Federal forces during the Nigerian Civil War 1967 – 1970.
A Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had on October 13, 2022, acquitted and discharged Kanu from terrorism charges.
However, the Federal Government appealed the decision, and the court granted the government’s request to stop the execution of the judgment freeing the IPOB leader.
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