Northern Groups Reject Igbo Leaders’ Demand for Kanu’s Release

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On Sunday, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) opposed a recent call by Igbo leaders for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

To address the instability in the South-East, the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the leading sociocultural organization of Igbo people, pushed to organize a peace conference.

The council asked the Federal Government to release the IPOB leader in accordance with the court’s directive.

Orji Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, and Chukwuma Soludo, a former governor of Anambra State, have also offered to act as sureties for Kanu in the event that President Muhammadu Buhari released him.

The CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who reacted to the moves in a statement in Kaduna cautioned the Nigerian government against releasing the activist.

He also accused the Igbo leaders of shielding IPOB and other non-state actors masterminding violence in the region.

Suleiman said: “It is unpatriotic and unreasonable for leaders to openly shield IPOB and other authors of mindless violence and separatism who see it as their duty to actualise what their fathers started in 1966, namely to bring about the realisation of a separate State of Biafra through the force of arms and terrorist tactics.

“Today, everyone can see that the diabolical scheme planned and exhibited in the actions and clamours of IPOB, supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the plant and affrighted Igbo elite, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group that has pushed Nigeria to the precipice.

“We are convinced that this renewed determined pressure from the Igbo leaders is part of a wider plot to see through the secession of the South-East from Nigeria. It is now real and cannot be avoided or deferred any longer without terrible consequences.

“As the representatives of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, the CNG has watched and studied these events carefully and with considerable restraint and maturity, to the point of condoning and accommodating several unreasonable and unacceptable actions that have been perpetrated against Nigerians collectively, and Northerners in particular.

“Of late however, the calls for the unconditional release of Kanu have pushed matters to a point whereby silence has become complicity and inaction no longer an option with unprovoked evictions, attacks and killings of northerners in various parts of the South-East resulting from the hate campaigns and propaganda being conducted by regional and ethnic agitators solidly backed by their leaders.”

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