September 29, 2023

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Northern Groups Oppose Unconditional Release Of Nnamdi Kanu

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday said it had taken stock of events unfolding in Nigeria, noting especially, the unrelenting disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, ignited and incessantly fanned and executed through the force of arms and terrorist tactics by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and co-authors of mindless violence and separatism.

CNG in a statement by it spokesman Abdulazeez Suleiman said it had carefully watched and studied these events and actions being perpetrated against the Nigerian state.

It also noted the renewed resolve by Igbo leaders and elders to secure the unconditional release of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, saying matters had reached a point where silence had become complicity and inaction is no longer an option. It advised President Bola Tinubu against unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu.

The group said the resurgence of agitations and disturbances that had been ongoing ceaselessly since the inception of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu were aimed at discrediting the government after having failed in the bid to stop its emergence by giving it a meagre seven percent of the total votes cast in the entire South-East.

The group added that federal authorities must resist the Igbo campaign of blackmail using Kanu’s release as a precondition for sustainable peace in the land and asked the following questions:

“How would the relations of the over 500 personnel of the various paramilitary organs who were indiscriminately attacked and killed while on duty posts at various checkpoints as a result of the incitement by Kanu.

“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces what words would Mr President use to encourage and retain other officers and men of the various forces if the man who incited the killing of their colleagues were to be released without even a trial?

“What would be the status of the families and community members of those killed, dispossessed or displaced as a result of the hate campaigns and propaganda conducted by Nnamdi Kanu and sponsored by his regional and ethnic collaborators?”

The group called on the federal authorities to disregard calls by the Igbo leaders for Kanu’s release, and remain resolute in seeing through his prosecution along with his sponsors, backers and collaborators for the heinous crimes against the Nigerian state and innocent Nigerian citizens so as not to set the wrong precedence of regional leaders interfering with the course of justice.

It reminded the president that by acceding to the demands for Kanu’s release, his government would be exposed to questions on the status of the innocent Nigerian citizens of other regions killed, dispossessed and displaced as a result of Kanu’s incitement.

It further called on the federal government to intensify the ongoing action to disband all militias and armed groups in the South East and other parts of Nigeria by resorting to the use of force if need be, to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state on its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and property.