The past few weeks have been filled with petitions from Igbo groups and southern governors who even went to visit the president over Nnamdi Kanu. These individuals and groups appealed to FG and Buhari for his release, however, FG hasn’t definitively given a response on if they would heed or not though it doesn’t seem they would.
As a result of this, Northern groups spoke out, condemning the potential release of the secessionist leader, emphasizing that he must pay for his crime against Nigeria. Today, they have received a response from the Igbo youths who blasted them to be concerned more about their own security.
Kanu Must not Go unpunished
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu would be above the law if he is released unconditionally without facing trial for the terrorism-related charges filed against him.
The Northern group, therefore, criticised the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for asking President Muhammadu Buhari to release the separatist leader.
ACF stated that Kanu can get a presidential pardon after he has been convicted, but it frowned on the demand for his release while his trial is still ongoing.
The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, said anyone accused of committing a serious crime against the state should be allowed to face the law.
He said, “Why should somebody who is accused of serious crimes against the state be released by the executive because his tribal organisation has so demanded? If we start doing that there is no more rule of law again in Nigeria.
“If there is no rule of law, there is no democracy. If the man is convicted, we will understand if there is a plea to the president to grant him a pardon through the prerogative of mercy as stated in the constitution.
“We do not agree that a person accused of serious crimes against the state, the type that this Nnamdi Kanu is accused of should be freed.
Be More Bothered About Terrorists, Bandits In The North, Not Kanu—Igbo Youths
Igbo youths under the aegis of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) have berated the leadership of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) over their opposition to the unconditional release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
OYC said its northern counterpart, AYCF, ought to intensify efforts on solving attacks of Boko Haram terrorists and bandits ravaging the North, rather than poking its nose into the affairs of Kanu.
The Igbo group said this in its reaction to statements made by the AYCF President, Yerima Shettima, who during a media interview claimed that allowing Kanu to go unpunished would be detrimental to Nigeria and the Nigerian Government.
Yerima’s view followed the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and some prominent Igbo persons, led by elder statesman, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday on behalf of Igbo youths, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, accused Shettima of playing politics with a very sensitive matter.
Okwu wondered why “Arewa youths have never given such opposition to the release and reintegration of so-called repentant Boko Haram terrorists but were against the release of Nnamdi Kanu, a freedom fighter.
“We have consistently made it clear that Kanu is engaging in self-determination, which is recognised under the international law and conventions.
“The Biafra agitation is also undoubtedly being fuelled by the ill-treatment of the Igbo in Nigeria, and till this point, there appears to have been no lessons learnt by those benefiting from this unjust nature of the country.
“This is why the Arewa youths will talk the way they did. One expects that they should be more concerned with the worsening activities of bandits and Boko Haram, than Nnamdi Kanu.”
The Igbo group urged President Buhari to go ahead and honour the Igbo leaders in line with his promise during the visit.
The statement continued, “We are also urging the Governors and the South-East caucus of the National Assembly, led by Senator Ike Ekweremadu not to relent on their own efforts.
“The timely release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should be of utmost concern to every Igbo person, and our political, religious and traditional leaders must unite to accomplish that goal.”
Insecurity has been so high recently in Northern Nigeria that even senate president has urged service chiefs to operate better.
Change Your Tactics In Fight Against Insecurity – Senate President, Lawan Tells Service Chiefs
President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called on heads of security agencies in the country to change strategy in the fight against insecurity.
Lawan, who made the call on Tuesday during plenary, said for Nigeria to overcome its security challenges, deliberate and strategic efforts must be made to seek diversified solutions besides the military onslaught against banditry, militancy, and insurgency.
According to the Senate President, the National Assembly has been consistent with the approach in coming up with legislative interventions needed to address the security challenges of the country.
He said, “This Senate and indeed the entire National Assembly has been very consistent in trying to find some kind of solution – a more permanent solution to ending the security situation in the country and of course we will continue to do so.
“I agree that we need to diversify our means of getting the solution to the numerous myriads of security challenges across the country.”
Speaking on the rising spate of insecurity in parts of the country especially Imo State where unidentified gunmen had been running riot, Senator Rochas Okorocha, opined that a change in strategy by security heads will go a long way in tackling the situation.
“Something must be done to guarantee the safety of lives and properties of citizens of Imo State. The matter requires some form of engagements to really find out what the nitty gritty is and resolve them accordingly.
“Over time, the military and police and other security agencies are involved but it seems to be escalating on a daily basis. We should find a way of resolving this matter so that peace may reign.”