The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo is adopting a different approach to the agitation for the release of the detained Director of Radio Biafra and leader of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The Igbo leaders are pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari to release him and allow them to work on him and make him (Kanu) realise the futility of continuing his pro- Biafra stance.
Chairman of state presidents of Ohaneze in the seven Igbo speaking states, Dr. Chris Eluemunoh told reporters in Awka, Thursday, that Igbo leaders were equally concerned with the security challenges posed by the activities of the pro-Biafra group, adding that once Kanu was released to Igbo leaders, they would sit him down and discuss with him and make him realise the negative effects of continuing with efforts to actualize the Biafra Republic.
According to Eluemunoh, a lot of discussions on how to tackle the issue of insecurity in the country were going on among Igbo leaders, adding that they believe that Kanu’s issue could be better handled and resolved if he was released to enable Igbo leaders get involved in the matter.
He said: “IPOB and MASSOB (the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra) can operate as pressure groups and not as secessionist groups. Many Igbo people are residing in other parts of Nigeria and there is no way they can abandon their investments to return to the East in the name of Biafra.”
He however commended IPOB for ending their protests that grounded many cities in the East last year, assuring them that they would benefit more if they adopted dialogue in their approach to national issues.
The Ohaneze leader also spoke on the recent statement credited to the Enugu -based Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka in which he was quoted as saying that some people were planning to assassinate President Buhari, describing such a statement as reckless.
He added: “Mbaka should face his evangelism work as a priest rather than creating panic in the country. If he received any revelation, the better thing for him to do is to keep it to himself and pray to God to avert such a thing. The President is the Commander -in -Chief of the country’s armed forces and is capable of securing himself and we see the statement by Mbaka as a distraction.”
He said that Ohaneze supports the President’s anti corruption war, adding that by the way he is going, sanity would soon return to the country’s socio -economic life.
Kanu was arrested on October 17, 2015, after arriving Nigeria from the United Kingdom. His arrest triggered protests in south east states with supporters demanding his immediate release.
Twice the court ordered his release but the Federal Government has refused.