From Magnus Eze and Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, said political solution was inevitable in the matter between the Federal Government and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent statement that the court should be left to handle Kanu’s case without any interference, it said Igbo agitation was beyond the IPOB leader.
The National Publicity Secretary of the the apex Igbo body, Alex Ogbonnia, disclosed that the South East Governors and other Igbo leaders would soon secure audience with the president and explain everything regarding their demand for political solution.
He said that Biafra agitation was part of the general gamut of marginalization of the Igbo.
Ogbonnia reasoned that an ordinary pronouncement by the President Buhari could end the whole agitation in the region.
“There is a pronouncement that Buhari can make today, by then, many of us will now tell Nnamdi, the game is over and it will be easier to tell Nnamdi to drop his line of action. That is what we mean by political solution. But so long as this marginalisation continues, it will be ultimately difficult. So, this is what we call Igbo agitation, IPOB and some others.
“So, political solution entails creation of Local Government Areas in Nigeria, revenue allocation, the number of representation of our people in the National Assembly and so on and so forth. All these things, we have to look at them. That is what we call political solution. By the time we begin to address some of these things, the issue of agitation will reduce. It will also attenuate the agitation and the issue of Nnamdi Kanu will be wittled because all of us will tell him. Assuming the President made a statement to say it is the turn of Igbo to produce the President, you’ll see that there will be colouration, there will be a change, there will be a paradigm shift in the agitation. That is what we are looking at.
“We are saying that by early this year, we will meet the President and explain to him more the approach we deem necessary for the release of Nnamdi Kanu. That approach is what we call political solution. We have not secured the date for the meeting but surely it will be because we had five committees which have all returned reports. So, we seek audience with the President and by the time he approves a date, it will be made public,” Ogbonnia stated.
Ohanaeze further expressed happiness that the president has responded to its call and that of other well-meaning Nigerians that bandits should be declared terrorists.
In a separate reaction, the Movement of the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) also condemned President Buhari’s dismissal of a political solution for the release of Kanu.
Its leader, Uchenna Madu, said it was unfortunate that the Nigerian leader gave “political, unguided and insensitive utterances” on the the release of Kanu.
He said that no amount of frustration or intimidation from Buhari and Federal Government would end Biafra agitation.
He said the arrest, detention, dehumanisation and traumatic torture of Kanu, including the constant clampdown of Biafra agitators by security forces might seem for some a solution to a problem, but as former US President, Barack Obama said in his 2015 United Nations General Assembly speech, “a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear.”
Madu said Biafra agitation groups were not the problem but a reaction to the many injustices, exclusion, second class citizenship, born to rule philosophy, marginalisation and other forms of inequality that characterise the Nigerian state.
“Buhari in his inner sense of reasoning believes that with his kinsmen occupying the high military positions of service chiefs, including all the most senior military high ranks, he will easily crush Biafra. Maybe, with his intimidating tendencies over Igbo governors, National Assembly members, religious, opinion, political leaders, he still thinks he can crush Biafra.
“MASSOB views Buhari’s constant negative comments on Biafra consciousness as a sign of jittery and unsteadiness. As every revolutionary struggle has its own methodology, the current Biafran struggle for actualisation and restoration will continue to unfold confusing methods to President Buhari. The spirit of Biafranism will continue to hunt Hausa Fulani people. Nigeria’s days of existence are numbered.”