I did not discuss Nnamdi Kanu’s release with south east governors, says obasanjo

The Nigeria’s former Chief President Olusegun Obasanjo has denied discussing the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with South East Governors in Enugu on Tuesday.

Penpushing reports that Obasanjo refuted the media report in a statement on Wednesday, explaining that contrary to media reports, he alongside former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku met with the Governors on their own invitation to discuss regional development issues.

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The former President in the statement emphasized that the purported release of Kanu by the Nigerian Government was not part of it, stressing that the regional development issues discussed include security and infrastructure, economic and cooperative collaboration among others.

‘The meeting with them was at my invitation and of Anyaoku before their summit began. The issue of Nnamdi Kanu was not on the agenda and was not discussed in my presence’, Obasanjo emphasized in the statement.

Penpushing further reports that it is recalled that Governor Alex Otti of Abia state had at the end of the South-East Governors’ meeting on Tuesday posted a message on X, which some interpreted to mean that Obasanjo joined in taking a decision to engage the Nigerian Government over Kanu’s case.

‘We have just concluded the South East Governors Forum meeting in Enugu, where we deliberated on critical issues affecting our region. After thorough discussions with fellow Governors and stakeholders, the following resolutions were reached’, the post reads:

  • The Forum commiserated with the Government and people of Abia State, Ebonyi State, Imo State, and the entire South East and Nigeria, along with the Onu Family, on the passing of His Excellency, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
  • The Forum welcomed a distinguished delegation including Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, Chief Emeka Anyaoku GCON, and His Royal Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe CFR, the Obi of Onitsha, who visited in solidarity.
  • We reviewed the report from the South East Security and Economic Summit held in Owerri on September 28, 2023. The Forum agreed to implement key recommendations related to security and economic integration, reaffirming our commitment to actionable plans on these critical issues.
  • The Forum resolved to visit Mr. President to discuss pressing concerns affecting the South East Region. Additionally, we resolved to engage with the Federal Government to secure the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Penpushing also reports that the communique was signed by, Governors Hope Uzodinma, Dr. Alex Otti, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru and Dr. Peter Mbah, while in similar development the Senators from the South-east on Wednesday met with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, to demand the release of the detained Kanu.

The 15 senators from the five states in the South-East handed at the meeting handover a letter of appeal for Kanu’s release to Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for onward transmission to President Bola Tinubu.

Penpushing reports that Senators claimed that unless Kanu is released, social and economic activities in the South-East region would continue to be stagnant, while Abariba  a former Deputy Governor of Abia State, who spoke to journalists on behalf of his colleagues, lamented that the economy and social life in the South-East had suffered enough due to the continued incarceration of the Biafra nation agitator.

The former Governor pointed out that with grave concern that the peaceful demand of the detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had been hijacked by hoodlums and hardened criminals, leading to wanton killings of innocent people, including security operatives.

Penpushing further reports that Abaribe disclosed that he had already met with Kanu at the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS) assuring that he (Kanu) had agreed to abide by any conditional release, expressing optimism that once Kanu is released, the tension and acrimonies engulfing the South-East region since 2021 when he was detained by State Security Service (SSS) would become a thing of the past.

The Senators appealed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to use his position to terminate all charges brought against Kanu by the Nigerian government, as well as conveying their message to the President.

 Penpushing also reports that the Senator explained that virtually all political leaders, religious leaders and stakeholders have unanimously agreed that Kanu be released for peace to bounce back to the region.

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