- Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has written a heartfelt letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), before his term ends on May 29.
- Soludo proposes that if an unconditional release is not possible, Kanu should be granted administrative bail on compassionate grounds.
- The governor commends the Buhari government for granting amnesty to “repentant” Boko Haram terrorists and emphasizes the need to extend similar grace to Kanu.
- Soludo highlights the detrimental effects of Kanu’s incarceration on the security situation in the South East and emphasizes that his release would contribute to peace and constructive discussions in the region.
In a heartfelt appeal titled ‘Passionate Appeal For The Urgent Release Of Mazi,’ Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), before the expiration of his term on May 29.
Governor Soludo specifically requests that Kanu be released to him personally, assuring that he would ensure the IPOB leader’s presence in court whenever required. The plea, dated April 20, 2023, was also copied to the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
While acknowledging the complexities surrounding Kanu’s release, Soludo proposes that if an unconditional release is not feasible, the President should consider granting him administrative bail on compassionate grounds. Drawing parallels with the amnesty granted to “repentant” Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, the governor emphasizes the importance of extending the same grace to Kanu.
Soludo writes, “Considering the circumstances, I earnestly pray that Mr. President kindly considers the immediate and unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, as demanded by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Federal High Court. This action would be in line with our country’s commitment to upholding the principles of the rule of law and complying with international laws and conventions that Nigeria has ratified.”
The governor continues, “Alternatively, if there are persisting reasons that make an unconditional release untenable, Mr. President may contemplate granting administrative bail to Kanu on compassionate grounds, as part of the national healing process and to foster a conducive atmosphere for a political solution.”
Governor Soludo further expresses his readiness to take responsibility for Kanu’s bail, assuring the provision of secure accommodation in Awka, where the IPOB leader would have access to appropriate medical care and other necessities.
This proposed course of action aims to alleviate tensions in the South East and facilitate constructive discussions toward progress.
Soludo acknowledges the Buhari government’s efforts in the North East, particularly in granting amnesty and facilitating rehabilitation for repentant Boko Haram operatives.
He urges the President to consider a similar historic action within the remaining days of his tenure, emphasizing that releasing Nnamdi Kanu would contribute to a smoother transition for the incoming administration.
The governor appeals to President Buhari, stating, “As you oversee the transition process and prepare to hand over to your successor, resolving lingering issues such as Mazi Kanu’s detention would greatly assist in ensuring a seamless transition. Therefore, I respectfully implore you, as a statesman, to demonstrate a historic act of mercy and release Nnamdi Kanu before the 29th of May, 2023.”
Governor Soludo underlines the detrimental impact of Kanu’s incarceration on the security situation in the South East. He emphasizes that releasing Kanu would have a calming effect on the region and contribute to restoring peace and stability.
As the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Soludo highlights the fact that Kanu has already received two favorable court judgments ordering his release, which have yet to be implemented. While refraining from delving into the merits of the case, he emphasizes the significance of these court rulings.
“It is pertinent to note that Mazi Kanu has obtained two court rulings ordering his release from detention. One of these rulings remains unchallenged and valid,” Soludo states. He further adds, “In July 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued an opinion urging the Federal Government to unconditionally release him.”
Governor Soludo draws attention to the consequences of Kanu’s continued detention, which has led to a systemic sense of insecurity in the South East. He points out that some of Kanu’s supporters have imposed a disruptive “Sit-at-Home” order every Monday, while criminal gangs have exploited the situation, posing as “freedom fighters” or advocates for Kanu’s release.
“The toll on human lives, socio-economic hardships, and the challenges faced by our security personnel are issues that require urgent attention,” Soludo emphasizes. Since assuming office as Governor of Anambra, his administration has actively fought against these criminal elements in collaboration with security agencies. However, the fear and anxiety prevailing in the region have resulted in the closure of businesses and limited movement on Mondays.
Governor Soludo firmly believes that there is still much to be done, and paradoxically, Nnamdi Kanu could be part of the lasting solution. By releasing him, the government would demonstrate a commitment to justice and create an environment conducive to meaningful discussions and progress.
In conclusion, Governor Soludo urges President Buhari to consider his passionate appeal for the release of Nnamdi Kanu. Recognizing the need for unity and security in the South East, Soludo emphasizes that releasing Kanu would contribute to peace and provide an opportunity for constructive dialogue.
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