The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to withdraw all charges against the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu..
Ohanaeze said the appeal comes in light of the recent release of Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba Nation activist, from Beninoise prisons.
In a statement on Wednesday by its Secretary General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Ohanaeze commended President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic for the release of Igboho through the intervention of Yoruba leadership and political leaders, urging Tinubu to emulate Talon.
It said, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo expresses its heartfelt appreciation for the unwavering contributions of Yoruba leaders such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and Pa Ayo Adebanjo towards the release of Sunday Igboho.
“The organisation recalls its October 1, 2023 Independence Day plea for the release of both Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes that this is an opportune time for President Bola Tinubu to demonstrate similar gestures and drop all charges against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, allowing him to regain his freedom.”
The group added that the release of Kanu would play a pivotal role in restoring peace in the South-East region and help address the prevailing security challenges.
It also called on all Biafran groups to cease all acrimonies and offensive media wars against the Federal Government, urging Igbo leaders to focus on the importance of doing what was necessary for the betterment of the region.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo firmly believes that President Tinubu will be hailed as a national hero if he seizes this opportunity to release Nnamdi Kanu.
“The organization acknowledges that Nigerians who felt denigrated by Kanu’s actions should find it in their hearts to forgive him, as his release will mark a significant step towards national unity and reconciliation.
“We express our gratitude to President Talon, Yoruba leaders, and political figures for their efforts in securing Sunday Igboho’s release. The organization remains hopeful that President Tinubu will embrace this historic opportunity and contribute to the restoration of peace and harmony in Nigeria,” it added
Sunday Igboho regained freedom on Sunday after being held in Benin Republic for two years.
He had fled Nigeria in the wake of a midnight raid on his Ibadan home by the Department of State Services in July 2021.
Igboho stirred the hornet’s nest when he began a campaign for the secession of Yoruba from Nigeria and also launched a campaign to chase killer herdsmen and kidnappers out of the South-West states.
Following the midnight raid, the Federal Government placed the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service on alert to stop him from leaving the country, but Igboho resurfaced in Benin Republic.
He was, however, arrested at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou while attempting to flee to Germany.