As Iwuanyanwu initiates lobbies for his release
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that those keeping the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, behind the bars against court judgments, should be held responsible for the insecurity in the South-East.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who stated this during his first official tour to Lagos State, on Wednesday, said Kanu’s continuous detention was a deliberate attempt by some unpatriotic elements to destroy South-East economy.
The Ohanaeze helmsman who was in Lagos to help douse tension following the recent hostilities against Igbo traders and residents in parts of South-West, said the insecurity in South-East would fizzle out “if Kanu is freed.”
He recalled that prior to Kanu’s abduction and extraordinary rendition, the South-East had enjoyed relative peace, arguing that the rising tension in the zone has strong link with his continued incarceration.
“We don’t have security problems in the South-East, we have said release Nnamdi because the young people are supporters of Nnamdi Kanu.”
Chief Iwuanyanwu further said that Kanu had not committed any offense to warrant his continued illegal detention as the courts had not found him guilty of any charge preferred against him.
“When we look at it seriously, we have not seen any offence committed by Kanu. In fact, the court has said he should be released.
“As Igbo leaders, we do not see any reason he should be kept in detention. These people are giving excuses including their sit-at-home.
“We believe that keeping Nnamdi Kanu in prison is an effort to collaborate with some elements who want to destroy the economy of the South-East. We are appealing to the Federal Government to release Kanu because if he is released, we can now know those who are proper criminals and agitators.”
Iwuanyanwu urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to toe the path of his predecessor but show respect for the rule of law, and free Kanu in compliance with court judgments.
He said that the continued detention of Kanu by the Nigerian Authorities is a disrespect for the entire Igbo race.
“Frankly speaking, I believe that President Tinubu will release Nnamdi because we have not been told he committed any offence.
“He is being detained even though he was not caught carrying AK-47. Nnamdi Kanu is sick and if he dies in prison, it will create a lot of problems for us.
” Every Igbo leader has talked about his release including the five South-East Governors. I think if any Nigerian leader has respect for the Igbo, he will release Kanu because once he is released, the security problem will be reduced.”
On the incessant attacks on Igbos living in Lagos State, Iwuanyanwu said the perpetrators should be brought to book.
He said that Ndigbo are free to live and carry on with their legitimate businesses in any part of the country without fear or intimidation.
The Ohanaeze PG called on the Lagos State Government and security agencies to ensure the protection of Ndigbo living in the country’s commercial capital.
Ikengaonline recalls that a lot of shops belonging to Igbo traders and Igbo-dominated markets were razed in the aftermath of the 2023 polls allegedly for voting massively for the Labour Party.