Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu as a 2022 Christmas gift to the South-East geopolitical zone.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, challenged the President to be a man of his word by leaving the judiciary to decide on Kanu’s fate without any political interference or vendetta.
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The group asked Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to comply with the Appellate Court’s judgment freeing Kanu.
HURIWA believes that the release of Kanu will restore peace and stability to South-East Nigeria and restore the economic growth of the zone.
HURIWA expressed disappointment and consternation at the non-challenge attitudes of the Governors of the South East of Nigeria towards mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to free Kanu from detention.
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In May, Buhari, at a meeting with Ebonyi State Stakeholders’ Forum held at the Government House in Abakaliki, said a political solution to Kanu’s travails was impossible and insisted that only the court will decide his fate.
“I have listened carefully to the various appeals from the elders to the traditional leaders, regarding a wide range of options and as I have said previously, this matter remains in the full purview of the court where it will be properly adjudicated,” Buhari had promised.
However, about 18 months since his unwarranted detention at the DSS custody in Abuja, the IPOB leader has not tasted freedom despite the judgment of the Courts granting him freedom and awarding billions of naira as damages against the Federal Government for his extraordinary rendition from Kenya in mid-2021.
At the moment, the major presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections, including Labour Party’s Peter Obi, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party have opined that they will explore dialogue to end secessionist agitations in the South-East and restore the economy of the Igbo people which has been marred by untold violence and activities of unknown gunmen.
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Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “As though a norm, all the major presidential candidates for the 2023 presidential election have adopted negotiated settlement to end agitations by IPOB and other secessionist groups like that of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
“This is a clear signal to President Muhammadu Buhari that he got it all wrong seven years ago since he opted for only military methodology and extraordinary rendition of Nnamdi Kanu and lastly refusal to comply with the Appeal court’s decision freeing Nnamdi Kanu. The President should honor his words and order Malami to heed the Appeal Court’s verdict for Kanu’s release. Anything aside from this shows that Buhari and his regime have no respect for the rule of law and this is not surprising based on his antecedent as a military general.
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“This is the most auspicious time for Buhari to make amends and release Nnamdi Kanu immediately as his Christmas gift and one of his government’s major parting gifts to Nigerians and generations unborn because of the potential that the release of Nnamdi will restore peace and stability to South-East of Nigeria and restore economic growth of the region.”