Nnamdi Kanu: Why 2022 National Census should be Postponed – Northern Elders

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, on Monday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reject the request of some notable Igbo leaders, demanding release of the Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.


The Forum stated that there were neither a safe, constructive nor informed grounds for granting the request, and advised the President not to delay in announcing that the judicial process in the case of Kanu would be allowed to run its course.


The Northern elders said this in a statement signed by NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in Abuja.


Recall that the Igbo leaders led by First Republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, 93-year-old Mbazulike Amaechi, had described the situation in the South-East as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting businesses had collapsed while education was crumbling amid fears.

Amaechi also promised that if Kanu was released, they would ensure that “he (Kanu) would no longer say the things he had been saying.”


But NEF argued that granting the request of the Igbo leaders will do a serious injury to the country’s integrity.

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He said, “Northern Elders Forum has carefully studied the request of Igbo Elders for President Muhammadu Buhari to terminate the trial of Nnamdi Kanu and release him unconditionally.


“It has also noted President Buhari’s response which both raised very weighty issues related to the request, and his commitment to consider it.


“The Forum notes that there are no safe, constructive or informed grounds for granting the request, and advises that President Buhari will do serious injury to a country already threatened by multiple challenges to its security and territorial integrity, if he delays announcing the only responsible response, which is that the judicial process in the case of Kanu must be allowed to run its course.”

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The Northern elders also noted the judicial decision to label bandits and kidnappers as terrorists, and cautioned against a blanket profiling and targeting of all Fulanis.


Baba-Ahmed said, “The Forum noted a judicial decision to label bandits and kidnappers as terrorists, and recommends greater clarity in terms of the targets of this development.


“In any event, the Forum cautions against profiling and targeting all Fulani as terrorists. Millions of law-abiding Fulanis exist who should be encouraged to stay on the side of the law, while those who have chosen to continue on the path of criminality should feel the full weight of the law.”


The Forum also advised that the National census planned for 2022 should be postponed until after the 2023 elections.

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“The integrity and success of a sensitive and vital activity such as this will be compromised by destabilized and threatened communities and proximity to another sensitive activity such as general elections,” it stated.


NEF also invited attention to the hardship in the country under which the vast majority of Nigerian citizens live.


Baba-Ahmed added, “Increasing poverty levels and widespread insecurity demand that leaders should exercise extreme caution in taking economic and security-related decisions.


“Increase in the price of fuel in particular will compound the already desperate condition of living of most Nigerians. It is important that decisions on this matter include considerations of the interests of the national economy, the welfare of the citizen and the reactions of a hard-pressed citizenry.”


Meanwhile, a former Governor of Abia State and the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday, visited Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently detained in the facility of the Department of State Service (DSS).


Kanu is being detained on the order of Justice Binta Murtala Nyako-led Federal High Court in Abuja, on charges of treasonable felony offence preferred against him by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


In a statement posted in his official Facebook page, on Monday afternoon, Senator Orji Kalu, who represents Abia North senatorial district, while at visit to the IPOB leader at DSS facility in Abuja, on Monday, counselled Kanu to consider the consequence of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the peace of Nigeria and her people.


He stated, “This afternoon, I visited my brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody, Abuja. I met him in good health and care and we discussed “Umunne”. In 2001, I made his father, Eze Israel Okwu Kanu, traditional ruler of Afaraukwu and since then the family has been very close to me.


“I understand that Nnamdi Kanu has an insane amount of people rooting for him back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people.


“Even though my ideology and his ideology are totally different, God has made us brothers and we can’t run away from each other. I owe him and Nigerians good counseling. Whether he and his family listens to me or not, I will continue counseling him as I have always done in the past. What we need most is a peaceful and secured society.”


Reactions to “INSANE” and “VISIT”

The family of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has expressed rage and disappointment over what he called “confusing , incoherent, disparaging and uncomplimentary remarks” by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu after his visit.

The former Governor and Senator representing Abia North District, has in a tweet after his meeting with Kanu, said that he advised Kanu to watch his utterance, “especially as he has insane amount of people rooting for his release.”


Mazi Kanu’s family in a swift reaction, lampooned the former governor, accusing him of unnecessarily advertising his visit to Kanu “probably for political gains”.


Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, who spoke for the family, demanded explanations from the former governor “what he meant by Kanu’s insane amount of people rooting for his release”.


The family cautioned the Senate Chief Whip against “making unguarded utterances on subjects beyond his comprehesion.”


”What does Senator Orji Uzor Kalu want to achieve by those confusing and disparaging remarks? Is he saying that millions of followers of Nnamdi Kanu who feel disenchanted by the protracted and provocative marginalisation and injustice perpetrated against Biafrans by the Nigeria Authorities are insane?


”Who is Kalu working for? Must he advertise his visit to our brother? If he thinks he has any solution to offer can’t be work from behind the scene? Must he make political capital of every issue?


”We are highly disappointed by his incoherent utterances. He must understand that our brother is not being persecuted because he stole, or commited any crime. His only crime if at all it’s a crime is asking for the freedom of the oppressed people of Biafra.


”Orji Uzor Kalu and his types are the reason the agitation for self determination by our people is unending. How can he be trusted by the people? We have not forgotten his role in 2017 when our brother was in Kuje prison. What is his mission? Is he for or against Nnamdi Kanu?


”By his utterances it’s clear that he is no solution but part of the problems of our people. He shouldn’t forget that history will judge him for all his actions and inactions.


“In case Kanu doesn’t know, real Igbo leaders are working behind the scene to bring about solution to the problem of our people. They don’t make noise over it”.


Also, the IPOB, on Tuesday said Orji Uzor Kalu violated the court-ordered guideline for the visit of their detained leader. The Lead Counsel to IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, stated this in a statement to newsmen in Owerri.


He said as a result of the failure to follow the process the IPOB, has commenced an investigation into why DSS, should allow the former governor to visit their leader.

IPOB added that they were afraid that such a visit could amount to the use of force on their leader to accept a false narrative about the struggle for self-determination.


According to Ejiofor, “We can at best describe what transpired on Tuesday between a visitor whom the detaining authority ostensibly aided to violate the court-ordered guideline for visiting our Client as bizarre and unusual.


“The DSS is not oblivious of the terms of the court’s guideline which they have consistently maintained in the past that it must be obeyed to the letter, and through which position they had denied many friends and Attorneys of our Client, access to him.


“However, caution was thrown to the wind yesterday and instead of insisting on this full compliance with the existing guideline, the DSS for reasons best known to them allowed a visitor access to our Client even before the time scheduled for the formal visit and without his lawyers being present during the visit.


“It is of serious concern that the visit was conducted without strict adherence to the court-ordered guideline, but more condescending that the visit later became a subject of political gimmicks. If Our Client’s Attorneys, his flesh and blood brothers, and his wife will visit him in due compliance with the court-ordered guideline, how can the DSS authorize a visit from any other person in gross violation of this guideline?


“There is more to it than meets the eyes, which the DSS is now under a compelling duty to explain to us. Granted that his name appeared among the list submitted at the 11th hour alongside the names of the lawyers scheduled for the visit, but hurriedly proceeding to conduct the visit without us being present in line with the requirement of the guideline left us with many unanswered questions.


“We have initiated a formal process towards ensuring a thorough investigation of what transpired yesterday, and we shall not hesitate to formally address the world on this subject if there is an attempt to sweep our petition under the carpet.”


It was their view that; “The Order of the court and terms as laid down guideline, to regulate visits to our Client is to ensure his maximum protection from persons who may wish to secretly seize the opportunity to hurt or intimidate him into accepting a false narrative outside the dungeon where he is being illegally detained, and they could achieve this through threats and/or coercion. Hence, the need for the presence of his lawyers before granting any audience.


“We may not wish to speak further on this subject or even discuss our Client’s position on this visit pending the outcome of the investigation on the DSS authorized violation of the court court-ordered.


“In as much as we have unequivocally demanded a date investigation, we are not by any means insinuating that visitors of our Client’s choice are not permitted or restrained from visiting him henceforth, but our position is that every visit to our Client must conform with the already set out guideline by the court.


“We shall keep you all updated as we navigate through this turbulent path, but just note that victory and nothing less than victory is our goal, and it shall surely end in VICTORY UmuChineke,” IPOB said.


Late Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca urge Buhari Nnamdi Kanu

The wife of late Igbo leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu has urged Governors of the Southeast geo-political zone to remember Ojukwu just as Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra did with the memorial anniversary in honour of her husband.

During the event held in Owerri, Bianca begged President Muhammad Buhari to release the leader of the proscribed IPOB following the plea of Igbo leaders who paid him a courtesy visit.

Late Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca urge Buhari Nnamdi Kanu

The Former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain advised that releasing Nnamdi Kanu would further buttress President Buhari’s commitment to healing the wounds inflicted by marginalisation felt by the Igbo nation.


She explained that Kanu’s release would also demonstrate Buhari’s magnanimity, saying the clamour for secession was a direct consequence of perceived inequality in the distribution of resources and political appointments in the country.


Also speaking, Mr Ahamefula Ojukwu, son of the late Igbo leader thanked Uwazuruike for conducting the affairs of the entire Igbo nation in unity.

Late Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca urge Buhari Nnamdi Kanu

Ojukwu’s son who is also the chairman of the occasion urged Igbo people especially those privileged to occupy positions of authority to preserve the legacies of his late father whom he described as “an embodiment of selfless service and sacrifice to the Igbo cause”.


Moreso, Dr Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra decried the use of violence in the quest for self-determination.


He implored Igbo people to be united and fight diplomatically to achieve a set objective.

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