No 2023 Election In South East If FG Refuses To Release Nnamdi Kanu – Igbo Group Vow

An Igbo pressure group known as Voice from the East has called on the federal government of Nigeria to obey the United Nations directive that the incarcerated leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu be released unconditionally. The UN had told the federal government that Nnamdi Kanu should be released within six months and without condition.

The convener of the group, Comrade Kindness Jonah, who made the call in a statement to the media on Wednesday said failure to obey the UN directive, the 2023 general election would not hold anywhere in the South eastern Nigeria. Speaking  on behalf  of  Civil  Society  groups in the South-east, Jonah  warned  that   flouting  the directive  of  UN by  refusing to release Nnamdi Kanu, would  spur  action  towards frustrating  the holding of  2023  elections  in the  South-east.

However, due to insecurity in Nigeria, Methodist Prelate has advised the federal government not to feel big to dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu. Methodist Prelate, His Eminence Dr. Samuel Uche and the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Okwesilieze Nwodo, have called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to grant a political solution to Nnamdi Kanu’s case to ensure a peaceful and a permanent resolution to the matter.

While the Methodist Prelate advised the Federal Government to quickly initiate negotiations with the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to politically resolve the issues surrounding his prolonged detention, Okwesilieze Nwodo said the Federal Government can meet up with all IPOB’s demands.

The cleric who was addressing a press conference yesterday in Umuahia on the sidelines of his pastoral visit to Umuahia Methodist Diocese accused the Federal Government of treating bandits and terrorists rampaging the country with kid gloves while using a sledge hammer on ordinary agitators.

He decried the worsening insecurity in the country perpetrated by bandits and the government’s laxity in dealing with them.

According to his words; “Today, you can’t move freely again in the country. This yesterday bandits attacked soldiers in Abuja very close to the seat of power. The other time, they had the temerity to go to Kuje prison to release inmates! What type of government do we have?

“These people are toying with our security. Why not order soldiers to eliminate those criminals? Why do we have Tocano jets if we won’t use them against terrorists and bandits? Did they buy the Jets to see if they can kill all the Biafran agitators? Why are they after Biafrans? Hatred? Why not send the aircraft after the bandits and finish them?

“Why do they allow bandits to be operating? I saw a video in Katsina State where more than 400 bandits took over the road. They intercepted travelers and robbed them and took some inside the bush. Why is this happening in the home state of Mr. President? Is there any agenda? What is happening in Nigeria is no longer tolerable. We cannot keep quiet for them to continue.”

The Prelate who was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen about three months ago but regained his freedom after a ransom of N100 million was paid, blamed the festering insecurity on wrong leadership. He said that Nigeria could be fixed within six months if the leadership was willing, adding that contrary to the opinions of many, Nigeria is not yet a failed country.

“For me, I still see hope in Nigeria. What we have as a challenge in Nigeria is unserious leadership. If any leadership is serious, Nigeria can be fixed within six months. Even the people in power now can fix Nigeria if they remove their eyes from injustice and unnecessary dirty wealth. They should fix their eyes on justice, high morality, and integrity. Our situation is not irredeemable.

“But we may fail if we don’t work hard. So, I will like to advise those in office today to fix back Nigeria before they leave in 2023.” The cleric said that insecurity would continue to fester across the country until the leadership was willing to frankly deal with the perpetrators.

“If I am in an office and I have a brother  or biological child who is a criminal, I will make sure he is either incarcerated  or eliminated. Why should you condone miscreants and people that want to destroy the country?”

Hosting the Prelate later in his Amuzukwu country-home, the Traditional Prime Minister of Ibeku ancient kingdom and a Knight of John Wesley, High Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu (BAWAS), expressed worry whether the 2023 election would hold if the rising insecurity in the country were no tackled.

Chief Akwukwuegbu said he decided to host the Prelate who would be retiring by the end of the year as a way to demonstrate his appreciation to God who delivered him from the kidnappers’ dens. He also commended security agencies for arresting some of those behind the Prelate’s abduction but added that they would ask questions if the arrested suspects were not paraded. He described the insecurity in the South East as nightmarish and tasked security agencies to sit up.

The Methodist Prelate further said that the Federal Government should not feel too big to engage Nnamdi Kanu in sincere negotiations. According to his words; “What I want to advise the Federal Government is that releasing Nnamdi Kanu, and Sunday Igboho, social crusaders, will bring much healing to the land. I say this not because I am Igbo. There are people like them in other countries. Their Governments don’t go and kill them or hang them.

”If your child is crying, call him as a father and ask him why he is crying. Don’t feel too big to negotiate with your son. So, releasing Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho will bring more healing and not harm to Nigeria. If I were the Federal Government, I will use those people for positive things.

“I am an administrator. Not every member of the church even the clergy is system compliant but we know how to use some people you think are bad to achieve a positive result. It all depends on the leadership.” Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Bishop Chibuzor Opoko, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) Bishop Sunday Onuoha, the Prelate’s Chaplain, Very Rev. Jeremiah Shittu, were all at the press conference.

Similarly to what is happening in Nigeria, the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Okwesilieze Nwodo has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to grant a political solution to Nnamdi Kanu’s case to ensure a peaceful and permanent resolution of the matter.

Okwesilieze Nwodo insisted that there is nothing in the demand list of IPOB that the Nigerian Government cannot meet up with. Nwodo, who was equally a former Governor of Enugu State, lauded the United Nations over its recent verdict on Nnamdi Kanu’s case with the Federal Government of Nigeria, adding that it was rendered through its prism of human rights.

“My view on the case between the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, and the Nigerian government has been the same as that of the position of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo. This case requires a political solution, not court adjudication, and I think, that is what the United Nations has re-echoed. It is in the stage of politics where you have human rights protections and negotiations made, rather than going to the court of law, which win or lose, will not bring peace.

“But when you have a negotiated solution, issues are settled permanently. When you handle this kind of case in court, the process lingers because when you finish with the first court, you go to the appeal court and the Supreme Court. At the end of the day, the losers are aggrieved going home empty-handed, but when you have a politically negotiated solution, both sides have something to go home with, which they can live with.

“I have also said that there is nothing IPOB is demanding which Nigerian federation cannot meet up with. Nigeria has done that in the past. People of the Niger Delta wanted total control of their oil resources but they got some percentage and  have been living peacefully in Nigeria since then.

“I think the United Nations has not done anything strange. The position of the UN is a great step towards a peaceful resolution of Nnamdi Kanu’s case with the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is all in the area of human rights and peaceful resolution of this matter. I think the Nigerian Government should do something about that solution,” Okwesilieze Nwodo stated.

Austine Ikeru
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