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Insecurity: Ndigbo urge Federal Government to release Kanu for peace in the region

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Edwin Clark writes Tinubu, demands release of Nnamdi Kanu, Igbo reintegration

Ndigbo believe that the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention will significantly contribute to resolving the prevalent insecurity in the region.

This appeal comes in the aftermath of the killing of five soldiers in Abia State by gunmen on the day IPOB declared sit-at-home to mourn the fallen heroes of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.

Rt Hon Eugene Odo, a former speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, stated, “We cannot understand why Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is still being kept in detention. It is even more worrisome when it is remembered that Sunday Igboho has been released while Kanu is still being detained.”

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He added that the continued detention of Kanu is at the heart of the insecurity issues plaguing the South East for a couple of years. Odo believed that the release of the IPOB leader would certainly reduce tension in the region.

Odo urged the Federal Government to find a political or legal means to secure Kanu’s immediate release. Similarly, Ohanaeze Ndigbo called on President Bola Tinubu to use his office to direct Kanu’s release. Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed concern that Kanu was charged, granted bail, attempted to flee, was apprehended, and brought back to Nigeria, but judges found he had no case to answer. They questioned the terrorism charge against Kanu, stating no one had provided a clear picture of the offense he had committed. They demanded his release on behalf of Ndigbo.

The Igbo Lawyers Association (ILA) also urged the Federal Government to do everything within its power to secure Kanu’s release. ILA leader, Chief Chuks Muoma, questioned why it is taking the Federal Government so long to convict Kanu if he is guilty or release him if he is innocent. He pointed out the release of the leader of the Maiyeti Allah after terrorism charges against him were withdrawn, highlighting what he considered the endemic hatred of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Muoma also wanted to know why Igbogho, who was accused of the same offense as Kanu, was allowed to go home while the Biafran agitators remained detained.

It’s worth noting that insecurity in the Igbo nation has escalated since Kanu was detained nearly two years ago.

To express their dissatisfaction and demand Kanu’s immediate release, his followers initiated the idea of a sit-at-home protest on Mondays and whenever he appeared in court. However, the directives were reportedly hijacked by hoodlums, leading to frequent clashes with security forces and the deaths of innocent citizens.

This situation was evident on May 30 when IPOB called for a sit-at-home in honor of fallen Biafran compatriots from the Civil War. While attempting to maintain law and order, five soldiers were killed by gunmen who opposed the soldiers’ refusal to comply with the lockdown.

“The governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, visited the families of the five soldiers who were killed on May 30 during the IPOB Biafra Remembrance Day in Aba. During the visit, Otti consoled the widows, children, and other family members of the deceased soldiers, while assuring the Nigerian Army of his government’s commitment to bringing the perpetrators of the act to justice.

Earlier, the Abia State Government had placed a N25m bounty on the killers of the soldiers and announced support for the families. The commissioner of information, Okey Kanu, made this known to journalists in Umuahia in a statement. Kanu noted that the government viewed the killing of the soldiers as “a serious affront” to Otti’s resolve to rid Abia of criminals.

“This is more regrettable in the light of the fact that unprecedented investments have been made in the last year to restore the city’s public infrastructure and reposition it as an attractive investment destination for local and foreign businesses,” Kanu enthused.

He added, “To underscore its resolve, the state government is offering an N25 million reward to anyone with useful information that could lead to the location and arrest of any of the criminals connected to the unfortunate killings, and the subsequent state of apprehension across the city of Aba and environs”.

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