Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has said Igbo leaders should present ‘something’ to the Nigerian government to secure a political solution for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Mr Umahi stated this when he appeared on Channel TV’s Politics Today on Friday.
He said although Mr Buhari has agreed to a political solution for Mr Kanu, the South-east leaders should work harder to initiate the agreement.
Mr Umahi said he had visited the Attorney-General of the Federation, and also met with the president, as well as Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, and discussed extensively about the IPOB leader’s release.
He noted that the Nigerian government has shown readiness to “discuss” with Igbo leaders on the release of Mr Kanu.
“We wished that it be solved and that’s why I went to Mr President. And our leader, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi, has also gone to the president and he agreed for a political solution, but it should be us that should initiate it,” he said.
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“We should be encouraging the president of Ohanaeze to work with the IPOB leader as Mr President suggested and then let them, you know, bring something before the federal government and say, ‘these are what we are bringing on board’. I think that the President is not averse to that,” Mr Umahi added.
The governor, who is also a presidential aspirant, accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of delaying the discussion with the presidency saying the leaders were yet to present ‘something’ to the government to secure the IPOB leader’s release.
“This matter is in court and so he can’t be saying the matter should be withdrawn from the court. But, I think the approach is this political solution and I urge George Obiozor, who is our cultural leader, to do something about it. It is being delayed,” the governor stated.
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He said he foresaw the current insecurity in the South-east stressing that it was the reason his administration “started fighting IPOB at the early stage”.
He regretted that some persons “jumped into and used it for politics” pointing out that the outcome has now become “a pain in everybody’s eye” in the region.
The IPOB leader, Nnamdi Nnamdi, has been in the custody of the SSS. He is standing trial for alleged treason at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
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Leaders of the South-east have been seeking his release from detention. The latest effort to secure Mr Kanu’s release came Friday during Mr Buhari’s two-day working visit to Ebonyi State.
The leaders asked for the release of the separatist leader but President Buhari said Mr Kanu’s matter would be decided by the court.