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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has sought the intervention of President Bola Tinubu in the case of Nnamdi Kanu, urging the withdrawal of all charges against the Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader and his unconditional release.
Ohanaeze’s appeal is prompted by the recent release of Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, a prominent Yoruba Nation activist, from Beninoise prisons.
Ohanaeze, in a statement made on Wednesday by its Secretary General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, lauded the actions of President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, who, through the intervention of Yoruba leaders and political figures, led to the release of Igboho. The organization urged Tinubu to take inspiration from Talon.
It said, ‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo expresses its heartfelt appreciation for the unwavering contributions of Yoruba leaders such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Pa Ayo Adebanjo towards the release of Sunday Igboho.’
‘The organisation recalls its October 1, 2023 Independence Day plea for the release of both Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.’
‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes that this is an opportune time for President Bola Tinubu to demonstrate similar gestures and drop all charges against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, allowing him to regain his freedom.’
According to Ohanaeze, the freedom of Kanu is a key factor in the process of bringing back peace to the South-East region and addressing the ongoing security challenges.
It further entreated all Biafran groups to discontinue acrimonious conflicts and media confrontations with the Federal Government, while underlining the importance of Igbo leaders concentrating on actions that can bring about regional improvement.
‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo firmly believes that President Tinubu will be hailed as a national hero if he seizes this opportunity to release Nnamdi Kanu.’
‘The organization acknowledges that Nigerians who felt denigrated by Kanu’s actions should find it in their hearts to forgive him, as his release will mark a significant step towards national unity and reconciliation.’
‘We express our gratitude to President Talon, Yoruba leaders, and political figures for their efforts in securing Sunday Igboho’s release. The organization remains hopeful that President Tinubu will embrace this historic opportunity and contribute to the restoration of peace and harmony in Nigeria,’ it added.
After spending two years in detention in Benin Republic, Sunday Igboho regained his freedom on Sunday.
Fleeing Nigeria, he departed the country after the Department of State Services conducted a midnight raid on his Ibadan residence in July 2021.
Igboho ignited controversy when he initiated a secession campaign for Yoruba and launched efforts to expel killer herdsmen and kidnappers from South-West states.
Following the midnight raid, the Federal Government ordered the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service to be on high alert to thwart his departure from the country, however, Igboho reappeared in Benin Republic.
However, his plans to escape to Germany were thwarted when he was arrested at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou.