Biafra: Orji Kalu rekindles hope for Kanu’s freedom

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By CYPRIAN AJAH, Enugu

SEVERAL Igbo leaders have intensified efforts to secure the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who is being detained and facing prosecution on attempts to disintegrate the country. Joining the league of Igbo leaders seeking the freedom of the IPOB leader is the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.

Former Governor Kalu has promised to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to discuss the matter with him.

In the previous efforts by prominent Nigerians, including the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, to negotiate the release of Kanu, none has gathered momentum like the new initiative made by Kalu.

There are high expectations that the recent commitment of the former Abia State governor, who in a media interaction assured of the possible release of Kanu in the next few months.
Kalu was monitored to have expressed the belief that President Buhari would grant him audience to discuss Nnamdi Kanu’s release. He was also monitored to have assured the followers of Biafra agitators that Kanu will also grant him listening ear to discuss the matter with him when he visits him at the Kuje prison.

The founder and presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) had said that this feat will be achieved when he visits President Buhari at the Aso Rock, adding that he is only waiting for the time the mind of the President would calm down before the will send a request for the negotiation. He reaffirmed his commitment to negotiate the release of the pro-Biafra leader and also ensure his immediate release from Kuje prison where he has been detained since October 2015.

Kalu admitted that the issue of Biafra is a very big one in Nigeria today, acknowledging that the present generation has the right to ask for Biafra but that due process must be followed.

“The issue of Biafra is a very big one in Nigeria today. I am waiting for the mind of President Buhari to calm down for me to personally appeal for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. The younger generation has the right to ask for Biafra, only that it should go through the right process,” he had declared.

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The former governor remarked that people have committed more serious offences than that of Kanu, yet, they move freely on the streets. “People have committed more offences than what Nnamdi did but they were pardoned; so, I’m still going to appeal to the president. We will have a common ground very soon. Let’s see what will happen between now and the end of the year” he said.

Kalu noted that the international community has waded into the matter, urging President Buhari to consider Kanu’s freedom in the interest of justice and fundamental human rights.

The former governor added that President Buhari is being communicated through various national and international communities in order to secure Kanu’s release. “We are talking to the president through the international community, we are talking to him through African presidents and we are talking to him through personal friends,” he said.

“He is going to listen, Buhari is not as hard as people think and he has a heart that flows with milk,” Kalu said.

The former governor also disclosed that arrangements are being made on how he will visit Kanu in prison soon so as to discuss with him. “I will see Nnamdi Kanu in prison very soon and I will like to talk to him. I know he will listen to me. Nobody is saying anybody cannot talk about Biafra, you can talk about any other republic but you should not take Nigeria for granted; it’s a sovereign nation and we’ve all sworn to keep the country together,” Kalu cautioned.

The former Abia governor lamented that past Governments abandoned the South East, noting that roads and other infrastructures in the region are decaying.

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Furthermore, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have continued to accuse President Buhari of providing soft-landing for Boko Haram insurgents while Kanu is languishing in prison. The groups said Buhari has sympathy for the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists. They demanded for the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who they said did nothing to deserve long incarceration in Kuje prison.

Since the Governor Kalu project was made public, there have been jubilations among followers of Kanu in the South East, South-South and friends of Biafra agitators. In Enugu, people were discussing the matter, applauding former Governor Uzo Kalu’s effort to make President Buhari concede to the release of the Biafran leader. Some said the release of Kanu would end the protest and agitation for Biafra actualization, while others were of the opinion that it would portray the good mind of President Buhari to restore peace in the country and curb the menace of the Niger Delta Avengers.

Meanwhile, the call for the release of Biafra leader came at a time the Yoruba Youths are agitating for Oduduwa Republic.

The Yoruba youths had taken to the streets of Mile 12, Lagos, following the killing of their brothers and destruction of property in the fracas with the Hausa-Fulani at Agility community.

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