IPOB: Buhari Considers Release of Nnamdi Kanu
By Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman
President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who is currently facing treason charges, would be in violation of the theory of separation of powers between the Executive and the Judiciary.
As he stated, despite the fact that such a request is quite heavy, he will consider it.
Buhari made the remarks while receiving a delegation of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic legislator and Minister of Aviation, at State House in Abuja on Friday.
President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the announcement in a statement captioned “President Buhari to Igbo Leaders: your demand for Nnamdi Kanu’s release is heavy.” I’ll consider it.’
Speaking to the delegation led by the 93-year-old statesman, Buhari said “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious.
“In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
Stressing his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, the President said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and was brought back to the country, “I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from the outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”
The President condoled with Amaechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.
The nonagenarian had described the situation in the Southeast as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting that businesses have collapsed, education is crumbling, and a reign of fear.
He pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, requesting that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive, “he would no longer say the things he had been saying,” stressing that he could control him, “not because I have anything to do with IPOB, but I am highly respected in Igboland today.”
Amaechi said twice he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu in the past, and the latter rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.
He concluded, “I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”
Members of the visiting delegation were; former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazurike and Tagbo Amaechi.