The pressure in the entire states of the South-East region of Nigeria is being attributed to the continuous detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is still under the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, despite several rulings of competent courts of jurisdictions declaring him freed and acquitted.
However, the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to fall for the antics of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, insisting that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu must face trial.
CNG in a statement on Saturday by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, lamented the level of insecurity plaguing the south-eastern part of Nigeria, calling on the federal authorities to resist campaigns of blackmail using Kanu’s release as a precondition for sustainable peace in the land.
Suleiman further charged the federal authorities to disregard the unpatriotic calls by the Igbo leaders for Kanu’s release, and to remain resolute in seeing through his prosecution.
The statement read: “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has taken stock of events unfolding in Nigeria, noting especially, the unrelenting disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, ignited and incessantly fanned and executed through the force of arms and terrorist tactics by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and co-authors of mindless violence and separatism.
“CNG has carefully watched and studied these events and actions being perpetrated against the Nigerian state, against Nigerians collectively, and against northerners in particular, with considerable restraint and maturity.
“Of late however, is the brutal enforcement of a week-long illegal stay-at-home order that mostly affects other Nigerians living as minorities in South-eastern communities, and the renewed resolve by Igbo leaders and elders to secure the unconditional release of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu. Matters have reached a point whereby silence has become complicity and inaction is no longer an option.
“The Federal authorities must resist the Igbo campaign of blackmail using Kanu’s release as a precondition for sustainable peace in the land; and ask the following questions: How would the relations of the over 500 personnel of the various paramilitary organs who were indiscriminately attacked and killed while on duty posts at various checkpoints as a result of the incitement by Kanu.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces how and what words would Mr President use to encourage and retain other officers and men of the various forces if the man who incited the killing of their colleagues were to be released without even a trial?”
The statement questioned further: “What would be the status of the families and community members of those killed, dispossessed, or displaced as a result of the hate campaigns and propaganda conducted by Nnamdi Kanu and sponsored by his regional and ethnic collaborators?
“How would the authorities react were other regions and people were encouraged to take the law into their hands in the same manner as Kanu and IPOB?
“What would Nigeria become if leaders and elders of other ethnicities chose to shied their errant sons from justice by demanding their unconditional release from custody?
“We call on the federal authorities to disregard the unpatriotic calls by the Igbo leaders for Kanu’s release, and to remain resolute in seeing through his prosecution along with his sponsors, backers, and collaborators for the heinous crimes against the Nigerian state and innocent Nigerian citizens; so as not to set the wrong precedent of regional leaders interfering with the course of justice.
“We remind the President that by acceding to the demands for Kanu’s release, his government would be exposed to questions as to the status of the innocent Nigerian citizens of other regions killed, dispossessed, and displaced as a result of Kanu’s incitement.
“Hence, we call on the Federal Government to intensify ongoing action to disband all militias and armed groups in the South-East and other parts of Nigeria, by resorting to the use of force if need be, to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.”