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Nnamdi Kanu: S/E governors, Arewa clash amidst calls for peace



Nnamdi Kanu: S/E governors, Arewa clash amidst calls for peace

South-East governors announced on Tuesday their intention to engage with the federal government to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The decision was part of a communiqué issued after a meeting of the South-East Governors Forum in Enugu, attended by Governors Hope Uzodinma, Alex Otti, Chukwuma Soludo, and Francis Nwifuru of Imo, Abia, Anambra, and Ebonyi states, respectively, along with the host, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State.

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Nnamdi Kanu, facing terrorism-related charges, has expressed willingness to seek an out-of-court settlement with the Nigerian government. On June 19, 2024, Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, informed the Federal High Court in Abuja of his client’s intentions, urging for reconciliation.

While the federal counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, indicated he had no directive to negotiate, Justice Binta Nyako encouraged Kanu to approach the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) for discussions.

In a parallel effort, about 50 members of the House of Representatives, known as the Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to invoke constitutional provisions for Kanu’s release. They emphasize the need for a presidential peace initiative to address the region’s challenges.

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, also supported the call for Kanu’s release, stressing the importance of rule of law and peaceful dialogue.

“Government must obey the court. We are in a democracy and should not do things arbitrarily,” Obi stated.

Constitutional lawyer Madubuachi Idam praised Kanu’s pursuit of an out-of-court settlement, calling it a prudent and necessary step for peace.

Idam suggested that Nnamdi Kanu sign a peace bond as part of any agreement, highlighting the agitator’s calls for non-violence.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, represented by National Publicity Secretary Alex Ogbonnia, echoed the need for a political solution to address the fundamental issues driving Biafra agitation, emphasizing that Kanu’s release could quell insecurity in the region.

Contrastingly, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) urged that Kanu’s fate be decided by the court based on evidence. AYCF National President Yerima Shettima argued for constitutional amendments to allow for self-determination and a structured approach to addressing separatist demands.