Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo sociocultural group, has pleaded with Northern leaders and former militant leader Asari Dokubo to forgive pro-Biafra agitator Nnamdi Kanu and work for his release.
After Kanu declared that he would never again implore the Federal Government and President Bola Tinubu for his freedom, Ohanaeze issued the appeal.
Kanu added that pleading for his freedom would be an affront to the memory of Pa Mbazulike Amaechi, who passed away in 2022 at the age of 91.
You may recall that when the Appeal Court ordered the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a delegation of Igbo elders pleaded with the government to grant their request.
Ohanaeze, however, feels that Northerners and Dokubo are actively working to convince the Federal Government to reject the request for Kanu’s release.
Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, stated in a statement that Kanu’s proclamation was proper and that people should stop pleading for his release.
Isiguzoro insisted that the Appeal Court’s decision to release Kanu stands and that the Supreme Court should schedule a hearing on the government’s appeal of that decision.
Since Kanu has been held in custody for years against court orders, the group has also demanded that the Federal Government free him unconditionally.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, is believed to have played a significant role in the earlier release of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in 2017.”
To appease the northern region and influential Nigerians, the group allegedly dispatched a delegation to lobby for Kanu’s release.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo is expected to use a same approach this time, putting an emphasis on underground networking with key players and trying to win over those who were offended by Kanu’s previous broadcasts.
“The group may also approach Igbo billionaire business moguls and the leadership of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, who played a crucial part in the last release of Kanu in 2017.
A lack of diplomatic underground work and the necessity to appease some friends of the government—notably some Northern leadership and groups and Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant—have made the issue more difficult than it otherwise would have been.
According to the article, “the violent sit-at-home protests have also not brought any desired outcome, leading Igbos to change tactics in their efforts to secure Kanu’s release.”