FG should release Kanu, address grievances in South-East —IPOB’s lead counsel

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Nnamdi Kanu
Nnamdi Kanu

Maxwell Opara, one of the lawyers of detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, says political solution may solve the secessionist agitations in the country, especially in the South-East geopolitical zone.

He stated this in an exclusive chat with The Punch on Thursday while reacting to a statement made by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the Federal Government might consider all kinds of solutions, including political ones, in order to resolve the crisis surrounding separatist agitations in Nigeria.

Malami had made the statement in an interview aired on ‘Arise TV Special’ on Wednesday.

Growing dissatisfaction, disaffection, and perceived injustice have fueled secessionist agitations in Southern Nigeria of late. While detained Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho is an arrowhead of Yoruba Nation in the South-West, embattled Nnamdi Kanu leads the proscribed secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra in the South-East.

Kanu, who is in the custody of the Department of States Service, is facing terrorism and treasonable charges before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Also, Igboho, whose Ibadan home was raided on July 1, 2021, around 1am, has been in a Beninese detention facility since July 19, 2021.

When asked whether the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was considering political solution to resolve the secessionist agitation in the country, Malami said, “As far as the security situation is concerned and as far as governance and this administration is concerned, you cannot rule out all possibilities. But crime is a crime; there are criminal undertones associated with certain conducts, you cannot away the rights of the government to take steps with particular regards to ensuring that the people are brought to book.”

Speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, Kanu’s counsel, Opara said embracing political solution may address the situation.

He urged the Buhari government to withdraw the charges against Kanu and release him to South-East based socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the traditional rulers in the zone.

Opara said, “For someone agitating for self-determination, the political solution there is to address all the things he is agitating for and the things those supporting him are agitating for: equitable distribution of appointment, creating employment, fight corruption with open mind, etc.

“If the government attack those issues and allow him to agitate if he wants to agitate. He is not the only one agitating; Nnamdi Kanu and some other persons are agitating and when people are agitating, what you should do is to create a solution by calling them to the round table to ask them, ‘What is the problem?’ There is no problem that has no solution.”

When asked whether political solution will quell IPOB agitation, the lawyer said, “Yes, it can; it is all about talking (dialogue). Don’t we have issues in our various families? Don’t we have issues at work and other places? But everybody comes to the round table to resolve it.”

“The first step is to release him to Ohanaeze and the traditional rulers. That will calm the situation down and pave the way for people to talk. It is all about the approach but you cannot beat a child and ask the child not to cry,” Opara added.

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