S-East govs to engage Kanu on IPOB’s ‘absolute’ demands

Says Kanu not a common criminal
MASSOB tackles Uwazuruike over attack on Nwodo

By Ben Agande, Vincent Ujumadu, Dennis Agbo & Luminous
KADUNA— Former governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar
Umar (retd) has warned the Federal Government not to re-
arrest the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB,
Nnamdi Kanu, saying doing so would be “dangerous and
politically unwise.”
MEETING: From left, Anambra State Deputy Governor, Nkem

Okeke; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Governor
David Umahi of Ebonyi State; IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu;
Prof Ben Nwabueze and President of Igbo Youth Movement,
Elliot Uko, shortly after IPOB leader’s meeting with South
East Governors in Enugu, yesterday. Photo: Dennis Agbo.

This came as governors of South-East geopolitical zone
have resolved to engage the leader and members of IPOB
on what the they said was the agitators “absolute
This is even as the Movement for the Actualization of
Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, took a swipe
at the leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief
Ralph Uwazuruike, in which he said BIM would no longer
recognise Chief John Nnia Nwodo as the leader of the apex
Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
In a statement issued in Kaduna, Umar said Kanu is not a
“common criminal” but a “bitter young man fighting for a
fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen.”
According to the statement, “reports in the media indicate
that the Federal Government has asked the Federal High
Court in Abuja to revoke the bail granted Mazi Nnamdi
Kanu and have him rearrested. This is both dangerous and
politically unwise.
Kanu not a common criminal
“Mazi Kanu is not a common criminal as the government
appears to think. On the contrary, he is a bitter young man
fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen. His seeming
militant approach is the result of the strong arm tactics with
which the Federal Government deals with him. His long
incarceration before a court granted him bail testifies to
“Like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, many Igbo genuinely feel
marginalised since they belong to the category of those
who gave Mr President only five per cent of their votes and
appeared to have fallen out of his favour.
“President Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria is a
settled issue is a nationalistic wish and is no surprise
coming from a veteran of civil war fought to keep the
country one. However, this does not take into account the
mood of the nation as indicated by the growing agitations
for self determination, restructuring and many other similar
“If indeed the President is able to ignore and silence those
agitators, it will be a case of suspended animation. All
indications are that Nigeria has become so polarized that  it
requires a strong personality like General Buhari to sustain
its fragile unity. Needless to say that this does not bode
well for the survival of the nation.
“Most Nigerians are convinced of the need to maintain
Nigeria’s unity, cognisant of the enormous benefits all
sections drive from a large, diverse and resource rich
country. The federation also provides a security umbrella to
all the federating units, which enhance their survivability and
prosperity. It is difficult to see how any of them can fare
better out of the federation.
“But the fact that there are growing agitations for self
determination, restructuring and other similar demands
speak gravely of the way the federation is being governed.
Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens
feel they are getting a fair deal; when all its component
parts are treated justly and equitably. When none feels
Appearances can be deceitful
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Adeyanju and other similar agitators
might seem like felons or even anarchists. But as often
happens over humanity’s turbulent history, appearances can
be deceitful. One man’s terrorist could well be another
man’s freedom fighter.
“In any event, despite what the security agencies might feel,
there is nothing to fear from Mazi Kanu. He and his
compatriots are people who love their country dearly and
are willing to take a risk with their lives while blowing a
whistle on some of our bad habits.
“It will be a tragic mistake to treat them as common
criminals. It is evident that they are fighting a cause millions
consider entirely legitimate.
“Until our democracy learns to accommodate dissent,
vigorous, robust, even if inconvenient, it will be incapable of
serving our common good.”
S-East govs to engage Kanu on IPOB’s ‘absolute’ demands
The governors decision was the outcome of their meeting
with the IPOB leader in Enugu Government House,
Kanu was led into the meeting by the leader of Igbo Leaders
of Thought, ILT, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, and the President of
Igbo Youth Movement, Evangelist Elliot Uko.
The meeting, which lasted for hours, did not have the
crowd of IPOB members but few that came with Kanu to
the meeting.
Addressing newsmen in company of the IPOB leader and
his few entourage, chairman of South-East Governors
Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi,
said:”The South-East Governors today, the 30th day of
August 2017 met with the leader of IPOB, Prince Nnamdi
Kanu, together with Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, and
Evangelist Elliot Uko.
“The meeting deliberated on the demands of IPOB and
noted their concerns accordingly.
“However, the meeting agreed that these demands by IPOB
should not be absolute but rather, the South East governors
shall immediately engage the leader of IPOB to further
meetings and dialogue with a view to quickening the
resolutions of all issues amicably.”
Kanu  who looked calm did not speak on the outcome of
the meeting but drove off with Prof. Nwabueze and
Evangelist Uko .
The governors in attendance include those of Ebonyi, Chief
Dave Umahi, who is the Chairman of South East Governors’
Forum; his Enugu counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and the
Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke.
Governor Umahi said the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie
Ikpeazu and his  Imo State counterpart, Owelle Rochas
Okorocha, were said not to be in the country and could not
attend the meeting.
Reasons for the meeting
The meeting is believed to have held for reasons not far
from the application recently filed in the court by the
Attorney-General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar
Malami, seeking re-arrest of Kanu for allegedly violating his
administrative bail conditions.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo,
who was furious over Malami’s quest for re-arrest of Kanu,
had accused Mamali of playing double standard on the
vexed cross fire between Arewa youths threat of genocide
on Ndigbo and the Biafra agitation.
Nwodo had, Tuesday, commenced dialogue  with pro-Biafra
groups, starting with MASSOB in Enugu.
Though Nwodo did not state the outcome of the meeting,
leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu said it was a
family meeting, describing Ohanaeze as their fathers.
MASSOB tackles Uwazuruike over attack on Nwodo
Uwazuruike, in a telephone interview in Awka, had said the
Ohanaeze President deliberately decided to spite his person
as the leader and founder of BIM by inviting the MASSOB
leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, to a meeting in Enugu,
knowing that the said Madu was allegedly expelled from
Uwazuruike had said during the interview: “It was a
deliberate move by Nwodo to spite my person as the leader
and founder of MASSOB/BIM for him to invite one Uchenna
Madu in a meeting, yesterday, in Enugu, knowing very well
that Madu had been expelled as MASSOB.
“For this singular action, members of BIM across the whole
world, which I am the leader, have from today August 30,
2017 denounced John Nnia Nwodo as the leader of
It’s  sign of jittery, frustration
But in a swift reaction, MASSOB said Uwazuruike’s
utterances against its leader’s parley with the leadership of
Ohanaeze Ndigbo was a sign of jittery and frustration.
MASSOB National Director of Information, Comrade Samuel
Edeson, said it was on record that Uwazuruike was expelled
from MASSOB on November 30, 2015 at the group’s former
headquarters at Okwe, Imo State.
The statement read: “Uwazuruike should focus on his BIM
as he remains expelled from MASSOB.
MASSOB under the leadership of our vibrant leader,
Comrade Uchenna Madu, has overgrown this level of
internal rancor and unjustified jealousy.
“MASSOB is seriously working in building a lasting, concrete
and brotherly relationship among all the genuine pro -Biafra
groups for easier collaboration of the struggle for Biafra
actualization and restoration.”

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