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Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has sent an appeal to President Bola Tinubu not to allow the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu die in detention.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation made this appeal amid the growing concerns over Kanu’s health in the facility of the Department of State Services (DSS), where he has been held for two years.
The Eastern Updates reports that the IPOB leader has been in detention since he was forcefully brought into the country from Kenya by the Federal Government in June 2021. Different courts have since ordered his release, but the Federal Government declined to release him however, appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal instead.
Recall also that the Governors of Anambra and Enugu States, Chukwuma Soludo and Peter Mba have at various times called for his release, with the former opting to serve as his surety. In fact, Mba’s first trip to Abuja after his inauguration on May 29, was to meet with the President over Kanu’s fate.
President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has disclosed of arrangements by the Igbo group to meet President Bola Tinubu over the issue.
Speaking while playing host to the Ukpor Improvement Union (UIU), from the community of the late first Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, which paid him a courtesy visit in Owerri, Imo State, Iwuanyanwu expressed confidence that President Tinubu would not disappoint him in releasing Kanu.
‘I have made the release of Kanu top of my agenda and I have been doing that even before the end of the tenure of Muhammadu Buhari. I will not relent, I will meet with the president on his release again soon,’ Iwuanyanwu said.
Elsewhere, the Igbo leader had declared that Kanu was critical to peace in the South East, explaining that even the proposed peace summit by the body in conjunction with other stakeholders in the region, would not be possible without the input of the IPOB leader.
He said: ‘There is also a report that his health is deteriorating. I feel it is important that he is released to have access to his medical doctors so that he does not die in the prison.’
Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) through its President General, Goodluck Ibem, also urged the Federal Government to release the detained leader to enable him access proper healthcare, noting that such move would also contribute to peace in the land.
National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Alex Ogbonnia, on Friday, said that the organisation would continue to appeal to the government to release Kanu whom he said acted within the laws governing self-determination.
‘We will continue to appeal to the government currently headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to withdraw the pending appeal and set Kanu free. It’s the best thing to do, and the time for that is now. Continued incarceration of Kanu will not bring anybody any good, being it Ndigbo; the Federal Government or Nigeria as a country. So, let Tinubu just allow him go; if he dies in detention, it would compound the crisis already in Nigeria,’ Ogbonnia said.
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) also said it supports the unconditional release of Kanu from prison.
ADF’s Acting Secretary General, Abia Onyike said the group was of the belief that the reason for holding him was unjustifiable, given that he had been involved in the struggle for Igbo self-determination within the context of the monolithic but chaotic Nigerian federation. According to Onyike who said that Kanu should be released unconditionally and without further delay, attaching any condition to renounce his convictions and beliefs would amount to running in circles.