Nigerian Artists United Against Illegal Detention

Nigerian artists, which include musicians and Nollywood actors, under the auspices of United Nigerian Artists for Peace and Justice (UNAPJ) on Tuesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to free all political prisoners currently in detention across the country.
The group led by Chielo Ogirika aka Chiboy, Nigerian Music Ambassador to Germany, Tuesday in Abuja, pleaded with the Buhari led government to release all political detainees to ease tension in the country.
The artists made this call after visiting Kuje Prison, Abuja, on a solidarity with the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
They said they were at the prison to get first hand information about the IPOB leader and other prisoners, who have been detained for years without trial.
Chiboy said the artists decided to lend their voices to the call to release Kanu, former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), leader of Shi’ite Muslims in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, among other numerous prisoners, who are currently languishing in jail despite court granting them bail.
“This group is a collaboration of artists from the movie and music industry.
“The essence is to ensure that there is peace and tranquility in Nigeria especially the South-East.
“Release Nnamdi Kanu today and you will find out that the South-East will become peaceful.
“Our voices are not only for music but also for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians. God has given us voices to sing, we also want to use the same to call for peace and justice in the land.
“We beg President Buhari and his government to deem it necessary to release political prisoners including Kanu, Dasuki, El-Zakzaky for peace to reign in Nigerian”
On his part, Nollywood actor, Bruno Iwuoha, said the aim of the group was to galvanise peace and unity.
“Let peace reign in the land. There is no way people are down and you climb the stage and sing hallelujah and you think such persons will enjoy the music.
“What I stand to say is that all political detainees should be freed.. We use this opportunity to beg President Buhari to free all, not only Nnamdi Kanu, there are others, like Dasuki, El-Zakzaky.
“When we got to prison today (Tuesday) we saw all manners of people inside, many are awaiting trial. Many are held for agitating for their rights.
“My appeal is that all should be freed. The National Assembly, Governors, even the President should take time out to visit prison and see many people who are detained without trial”, he said.
One time President of the Actors’ Guide of Nigeria, Ejike Asiegbu, who was also present, said it was appropriate that the team paid a solidarity visit to Kuje prison to enable them experience life behind bars.
“We paid a solidarity visit to political prisoners today. We wish to appeal to Buhari to listen to the clarion call to free Kanu and others.
“I wish to remind him that the agitation of the South East and that of others across the country are genuine. I am aware of the call for a referendum. We need to sit down and have a talk on what we should do with Nigeria.
“Of course, we met Kanu he was in high spirit. He knows one day, he would be released. He, like others political detainees have families. This is the time the National Assembly members, Governors, politicians should speak out against illegal detention”, he added.

Author: News Editor

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