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Kanu’s incarceration, an attempt to destroy economy of the Southeast, says Iwuanyanwu to Tinubu, as he appeals for Kanu’s release
PRESIDENT-GENERAL of the Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, yesterday, appealed to the Federal Government to have Mazi Nnamdi Kanu released, saying his continuous detention is a deliberate attempt by some elements to destroy the economy of the South-East.
Iwuanyanwu, who spoke in Lagos during the first official tour of South-West states, told newsmen that insecurity in the South-East arose due to the incarceration of Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafar, IPOB, would be suppressed if he is set free.
The Ohanaeze leader said: “We don’t have security problems in the South-East, we have said release Nnamdi because the young people are supporters of Nnamdi Kanu. When we look at it seriously, we have not seen any offence committed by Kanu. In fact, the court has said he should be released. As Igbo leaders, we do not see any reason he should be kept in detention. These people are giving excuses including their sit-at-home. We believe that keeping Nnamdi Kanu in prison is an effort to collaborate with some elements who want to destroy the economy of the South-East. We are appealing to the federal government to release Kanu because if he is released, we can now know those who are proper criminals and agitators.
“Frankly speaking, I believe that President Tinubu will release Nnamdi because we have not been told he committed any offence. He is being detained even though he was not caught carrying AK-47. Nnamdi Kanu is sick and if he dies in prison, it will create a lot of problems for us. Every Igbo leader has talked about his release including the five South-East governors. I think if any Nigerian leader has respect for the Igbo, he will release Kanu because once he is released, the security problem will be reduced.”
Igbo free to live, trade in Lagos
Addressing the fears of the Igbo in Lagos, Iwuanyanwu urged them to calm, saying they are safe and do not have any problem living in the state.
According to him, top indigenes of Lagos State are comfortable with their conduct and do not see them as a threat to their social well-being.
He said: “I think we can solve the problem and we are appealing to them because asking people to leave is a new phenomenon. We are not worried about it because I have discussed with top indigenes of Lagos. Leaders in Lagos are not in support of this view. I want to let you know that Ohanaeze under my leadership is working with the five South-East governors on this issue. Hope Uzodimma told me that South-East governors would meet with their colleague (Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu). I was pleased that they had a good meeting with the governor of Lagos State where they came up with a communiqué. I learnt that the governor is in Abuja, I will try and see him, but even if I don’t see him, I am quite satisfied that Governor Uzodimma has seen him. What we don’t want is the demolition of properties belonging to the Igbo or to inflate taxation against them.
“A lot of rumours are flying all over the place but I don’t believe these things are true because I don’t believe any right thinking government can do that. I can tell you that at the moment, we have no problem. I have told the Igbo that I have discussed with top Lagosians. I have also told the Igbo that they are safe and they have no problem in Lagos State.
“Some Igbo lived in Lagos before 1914. We have a character in Igboland which makes us different. We know that we have a home and our home is in Eastern Nigeria. Wherever we go, we know we are visitors, and we have never gone anywhere to claim their land. Every Igbo man who owns property in Lagos does so legitimately. We have not come to preach a sermon that God gave us the land in Lagos. We paid for it. Lagos is Lagos because of what those who came, like the Igbo, including northerners and those from other tribes have invested.
“Igbo came, invested and developed the place; they have not forgotten the fact that they are visitors. Every Igbo man is told from home to obey the law of their host communities and Igbo have done that all through history.”
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