By Favour Goodness
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that his integrity and credibility would be dangerously damaged should he not keep to his solemn promise and release the detained leader of the prescribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, from Department of State Services (DSS) custody.
In the statement signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the rights group asked Buhari to deliver a “HAPPY CHRISTMAS PRESENT TO SOUTH EAST OF NIGERIA by releasing immediately the detained leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before Christmas. ”
The rights group said releasing the detained leader of IPOB would bring about the beginning of a period of sober reflection and negotiations for lasting peace to reign in the South East of Nigeria and the country at large.
“People watched President Muhammadu Buhari from all over the World discussing with reputable traditional, non partisan and spiritual leaders of Igboland who visited him to plead for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the President accepted to consider the request.
“But many weeks after, the prisoner of conscience detained for canvassing for peaceful self determination has not been released. In the Spirit of Christmas we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to release the IPOB leader and to integrate the Igbo speaking population into the top positions in the internal security architecture of the Country to restore a sense of belonging,” HURIWA said.
“HURIWA is hereby reminding President Muhammadu Buhari that as someone who has seen it all and has served the country in different capacities for decades, it would be unspeakable and disheartening to say that he as the President of the federal Republic of Nigeria with the constitutional powers to instruct his Federal Attorney General to terminate any public prosecution in public interest, that when confronted with unimpeachable appeal for the release of the detained leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
“President Muhammadu Buhari who gave the positive signal on the imminent freedom for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has spent huge amount of time without keeping to this solemn promise he made to non partisan Statesmen from the South East of Nigeria,” the rights group said in a statement on Wednesday.
HURIWA which quoted Buhari as saying “I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity,” said the utterance provided”the clearest optimism to a delegation of a South East group – Highly Respected Igbo Greats – led by First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, who visited him in Abuja to intercede for the separatist movement leader.”
HURIWA recalled that Buhari said although he would consider the request for the unconditional release of the IPOB leader,it was a rather difficult demand more so when the matter is in court even as he said the President added that“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious.”
It added: “In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the judiciary.”
HURIWA recalled that turning to 92-year old Chief Amaechi, President Buhari said: “God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”