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Southeast Lawmakers Call for Kanu’s Release to Promote Peace

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Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives from the Southeast geo-political zone expressed disappointment following the rejection of Nnamdi Kanu’s bail application. Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) separatist group, has been detained since June 2021 on charges of treasonable felony.

Lawmakers led by Ikenga Ugochinyere and Obi Aguocha, who were present for the court hearing, argued that Kanu’s release would be a positive step towards fostering peace in the region. They believe it could initiate a “healing process” and open doors for dialogue.

Appeal to President Tinubu for Intervention

Ugochinyere, representing Ideato South and North Federal Constituency, expressed sadness at the court’s decision. He urged President Bola Tinubu to intervene by invoking Section 174 of the Nigerian Constitution. This section empowers the Attorney General to discontinue a case “in the public interest.”

“We are calling on President Bola Tinubu not to allow this moment to pass him by,” Ugochinyere stated. “The President and the Attorney-General should use their power to discontinue the matter. This can be done to promote public peace and justice.”

Ugochinyere highlighted the recent release of Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba rights activist, and the discontinuation of charges against Omoyele Sowore, a journalist and activist. He argued that the decision to keep Kanu detained appears discriminatory.

“It is painful that when it’s the turn of an Igbo man, the story is always different,” Ugochinyere remarked.

Kanu Blames Detention for Southeast Violence

Following the court hearing, Kanu himself addressed the ongoing violence in the Southeast. While condemning criminal activities attributed to IPOB, he suggested his release could improve the situation.

“It is unfortunate that criminals use IPOB’s name for their activities,” Kanu said. “The security situation would be better if I were free. People obeyed my directives before.”

Vowing that those behind the violence in the name of IPOB would not be spared once he is out of detntion, Kanu, said: “Anybody committing crime cannot go free. I swear it!

“Anybody committing crime in the east cannot go free. They are doing it because I am in the DSS. If I were to be outside, nobody can try this.

“I suspect that some people in government are complicit. They are making money with the insecurity.

“They know if Nnamdi Kanu is outside, in two minutes this nonsense will stop.

“Who is the beggar or idiot that will speak when I am talking. That I will give an order in the East who is the idiot that I will give an order that will counter it? Nobody can! I am Nnamdi Kanu. Rubbish!.

“Anybody involved in any form of violence in the East in the name of IPOB is a goner and they know it.

“Let me come out of this mess, only two minutes, there will be peace in the East,” Kanu told newsmen.

The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu remains a contentious issue. While Southeast lawmakers see his release as a step towards peace, the Nigerian government maintains its stance on the legal proceedings.

Finding a solution requires open communication and a willingness to address the underlying grievances that fuel tensions in the Southeast. Dialogue and a commitment to peaceful resolution are crucial for achieving lasting stability in the region.

Source: Vanguard

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