President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent statement on Channels Television Wednesday that, rather than a political solution to his matter, Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Mazi Nnmadi Kanu, would face the full weight of the law has drawn the ire of Ohaneze Ndigbo who said, the President’s current position on the issue is not in tandem with their earlier discussion with him and the assurance he gave them.
The apex socio-cultural organization of Igbos at home and in the Diaspora in a press statement, yesterday, recalled that, Igbo leaders under the auspices of Highly Respected Igbo Greats had met and appealed to President Buhari to ensure the release Nnamdi Kanu.
At the meeting the Igbo Leaders held with President Buhari in November last year, he told Igbo leaders that he would consider their request for a political solution to the issue; though it was a very tough demand.”
However, in a swift turn of events, Buhari, while on Channels Television on Wednesday, said, there was possibility of political solution for the pro-Biafra separatist leader, but he would not interfere with the judiciary.
“Continuing, he said, we are giving him an opportunity to defend himself in our system, not to be abusing us from Europe as if he was not a Nigerian. Let him come here with us and then criticise us here. Nigerians know that I don’t interfere with the judiciary, let him be listened to. But those who are saying that he should be released, no, we cannot release him,” Buhari had said.
Based on the President’s recent hostile response in respect of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s matter, Ohaneze said, there would be another meeting with him.
The group’s spokesperson, Alex Ogbonnia disclosed this while reacting to the President’s interview on political solution to Kanu’s release.
Ogbonnia said, “Ohanaeze’s position is very clear and constant. We have looked at the whole scenario and we are convinced that Nnamdi Kanu’s case and IPOB can only be solved through a political solution. It is unfortunate that the Presidency or the president hasn’t appreciated the Ohanaeze position and by extension the Igbo position or the Igbo leadership position on this matter. But we are very confident that by time we will meet him early this year he will understand it more.”
Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June, which was in violation of international laws by United Nations Charter which Nigeria is signatory, according to the claims by his lawyers.
He has appeared before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, a couple of times, and he is being detained by the Department of State Services.
His next appearance in court has been scheduled for January 18 in Abuja.”