Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has accused the Igbo socio-cultural body, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, of delaying discussions with the Federal Government over Nnamdi Kanu’s release.
The governor made the claim on Friday when he featured on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“We wished that it should be solved and that’s why I went to Mr President. And our leader, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi, has also gone to the President and he agreed for a political solution, but it should be us that should initiate it,” he said on Friday.
“And I am asking Ambassador Obiozor (Ohanaeze President), he is very slow about this because I had gone to the DG DSS. I had gone to the Attorney-General of the Federation and they were ready to receive them to discuss. I had excluded myself so that politics is not by any means adduced to it.”
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“So, we should be encouraging the president of Ohanaeze to work with the IPOB leader as Mr President suggested and then let them, you know, bring something before the Federal Government and say, ‘These are what we are bringing on board.’ I think that the President is not averse to that,” the government added.
The governor, who said he foresaw the growing insecurity in the South East, reiterated that that was why his government opposed the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) from the onset.
He, however, said many people misunderstood him and “jumped into and used it for politics”. Umahi lamented that the situation is now “a pain in everybody’s eye” in the region.
Umahi’s comment followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state where the Nigerian leader commissioned several projects.
During the visit, leaders of the South East region pleaded with the Nigerian leader for the release of Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
But Buhari told the Ebonyi State Stakeholders’ Forum at the Government House in Abakaliki on Friday, that only the court can decide the IPOB leader’s fate.
“I have listened carefully to the various appeals from the elders to the traditional leaders, regarding a wide range of options,” he said. “And as I have said previously, this matter remains in the full purview of the court where it will be properly adjudicated.
“My worry is for our hardworking and innocent civilians for whom life is already tough and will like to just go out and earn a decent and honest living.”