ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has formally written to President Bola Tinubu, calling on him to leverage his influential position to secure the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement released in Enugu and endorsed by President General Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Ohanaeze Ndigbo pleaded with Tinubu to use his esteemed office to advocate for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The statement highlighted the widespread recognition of Nnamdi Kanu’s case and emphasized that his release would not pose a threat to democracy or social cohesion.
It referenced a Nigerian court’s judgment directing Kanu’s release and cited appeals from Nigerians across the country for his freedom.
As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Iwuanyanwu brought the matter to a joint meeting of South South, South West, South East, and Middle-Belt leaders, who unanimously endorsed the call for Nnamdi Kanu’s release.
Iwuanyanwu made a heartfelt plea to President Tinubu, framing the release of Nnamdi Kanu as a valuable Christmas gift to the Igbo community and all Nigerians committed to a peaceful and secure country.
Expressing concern over the potential for increased unrest, Iwuanyanwu urged a non-kinetic approach to security issues in the South East.
He wrote: “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case is well known to all Igbos and Nigerians. It is the belief of many that the release of Nnamdi Kanu does not constitute any threat to our democracy or social cohesion and peace.
“Besides, a Nigerian Court has passed a judgement directing that Nnamdi Kanu should be released. Many Nigerians from the 36 States and Abuja have also made appeal for his release.
“As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Leader of Igbos worldwide, I brought this matter up to a joint meeting of South South, South West, South East and Middle-Belt of Nigeria and they unanimously endorsed that Nnamdi Kanu should be released.
“I hereby make a passionate appeal to our President Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu to assist to procure the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. This will be a highly prized Christmas Gift to the Igbos of Nigeria and all other Nigerians who are committed to a peaceful and secure country.
“The incarceration of Kanu has created unnecessary excuse for terrorism in a region which has hitherto lived in peace and pursued their occupation wherever they are with patriotic zeal.
“We recollect with sadness that this region was a theatre of war. The war claimed the lives of many Nigerians. In addition, businesses and properties were completely destroyed. In 1970 when the war ended, the Igbos returned completely impoverished.
“I warn that all parties should avoid anything that could once again make Igboland a theatre of war. I further advocate that in addition to the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the Federal government should adopt a non-kinetic approach to the security problem in the South East.”
He, in collaboration with South East governors and leaders, advocated for amnesty for those expressing various forms of agitation in the region, providing them with an opportunity to pursue dignified livelihoods.