The pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo says it has commenced negotiations with the Presidency as well as notable traditional rulers to secure the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
The apex Igbo body disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Friday without revealing details of its discussions and the Presidency officials it met “for security reasons”, but emphasized that discussions were already at advanced stage between its leaders and key personalities in the Buhari presidency.
Revealing this at the news conference, National President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo youth wing, Mazi Okechukwu Iziguzoro disclosed that those consulted assured its representatives that something positive would come out of the consultations very soon.
While pointing out that the modus operandi was on how to employ political solution to secure Kanu’s release, he explained that notable traditional rulers, like the Sultan of Sokoto, Ooni of Ife, Emir of Kano and the monarch of the Bornu Kingdom, had been consulted on the issue.
Iziguzoro noted that the Igbo leaders assured the Presidency and the royal fathers that they were prepared to prevail on Kanu to discontinue the operation of Radio Biafra if he is released.
He explained that the Ohaneze Ndigbo decided to initiate the ‘free Nnamdi Kanu’ campaign, as part of its peace in the Nigeria project, adding that it is their conviction that dialogue, instead of protests, remained the best option to resolve contending issues.
The Ohanaeze chieftain added that the peace move initiated by the body yielded some fruits recently when the leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo addressed a joint news conference with the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum and demanded the unconditional release of Kanu, in the interest of peace and harmony.
According to him, “For the past two months now, we have started to mediate with the Federal Government and other stakeholders in this country, with regards to what is happening to our zone. Ohaneze Ndigbo have also meet with the family of Nnamdi Kanu, his younger brother, Emma, his sisters and other members of the family and, we know their mindset.
“We are now convincing Kanu personally on the need to soften the stand of his movement. Before now, we had no access to him, but we can now have access to him through the Directorate of State Service and explain issues he needed to understand.
“If you are talking about Biafra, it is not only about one person. It is about the entire Igbo nation who have multi trillion dollars investment across the country. So everything has to be taken into consideration.
“The talks are still on and we met high profile personalities in government who would not want their names mentioned in the media without clearance. Two weeks ago, we were with the Sultan of Sokoto on the same issue. From there to the Shehu of Bornu, and then the Ooni of Ife.
“We as youth leaders of Ndigbo will be shirking in our responsibility and duty if we fail to state our position, opinion and suggestion on the way forward to this burning issue.
“In the first place we believe in a United Nigeria anchored on justice, equity and fairness. We believe that all problems and issues in Nigeria can be solved through dialogue and roundtable discussion.”
Isiguzoro further expressed optimism that the peace initiative across the country by the apex Igbo group would go a long way in realizing the objective of freeing Kanu from detention.