In less than two days after President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to consider request by Igbo leaders for unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), currently standing trial, IPOB had vowed to wage war against gunmen killing and maiming people in the South East zone of the country.
Buhari had in the week under review, made the pledge when he received a group under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja, on Friday.
The President, who believed that the request runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary, however, told the 93-year-old statesman:
“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary.
”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.”
While stressing his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary, Buhari said when Kanu jumped bail, got arrested and brought back to the country, “I said the best thing was to subject him to the system.
”Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity.”
Others in the visiting delegation were; Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Amaechi.
Against this backdrop of Mr President’s pronouncement on Kanu, IPOB, in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful on Nov. 20, completely disassociated the group from the activities of Eastern Security Network (ESN), saying that most of the killings in the Southeast were perpetrated by gunmen masquerading as members of its security outfit
Powerful, who warned the armed men to desist from killing innocent citizens, also cautioned the police to stop parading them as members of ESN.