Igbo leaders met with Buhari to demand the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

On Friday, a group of Igbo leaders met with President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded that Nnamdi Kanu be released.

Mr Kanu, the leader of the illegal separatist organisation IPOB, has been arrested and charged with treason.

The president's spokeswoman, Femi Adesina, released a statement detailing the meeting between the Igbo leaders and President Buhari.

According to Mr Adesina, Mr Buhari told his guests that Mr Kanu's 'unconditional release' violates the theory of separation of powers between the Executive and the Judiciary.'

Mr. Adesina's complete statement is available here.

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENT BUHARI TO IGBO LEADERS: YOUR DEMAND FOR NNAMDI KANU’S RELEASE IS HEAVY. I WILL CONSIDER IT

An unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), currently standing trial, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

Receiving a group under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja, the President told the 93-year-old statesman.

“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”

Stressing his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, President Buhari said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and brought back to the country, “I said the best thing was to subject him to the system. Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”

The President condoled with Chief Amaechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.

The nonagenarian had called the situation in the Southeast as "sad and dismal," adding that businesses have failed, education has deteriorated, and dread has spread throughout the region.

He pleaded for a political solution rather than a military one, claiming that if Kanu was released to him as the last living First Republic Minister, "he would no longer say the things he had been saying," and that he could control him because "not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today."

Chief Amaechi claimed he had spoken with Nnamdi Kanu twice before, and the latter had withdrawn directives for civil disobedience.

He concluded: “I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”

His Excellency Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Barrister Goddy Uwazurike, former President of the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Mbazulike Amaechi were among the other members of the visiting delegation.



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