Northern groups reject call for Nnamdi Kanu’s release

Northern Groups Coalition has kicked against the renewed call for the release of leader of outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

IPOB is leading the agitation for an independent state of Biafra.

Spokesperson of the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement, said the calls for Kanu’s release without trial by Ndigbo leaders and groups have grown louder since the February 25 presidential election, Royal News reports.

The northern group pointed out that groups such as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo have joined in the “campaign of blackmail” using Kanu’s release as a precondition for Ndigbo cooperation with the incoming Tinubu administration which they never voted for and are in no way material to its victory at the polls.

To this end, the group, therefore, condemned the renewed calls for the undue termination of the trial of Kanu by Ohanaeze and other Ndigbo leaders and groups, describing it as insane, unreasonable, unwarranted, thoughtless and unrealistic.

It reiterated its calls on the federal authorities to disregard such “unpatriotic” calls and remain resolute in seeing the prosecution of Kanu to its logical conclusion so as not to set the bad precedent of regional leaders interfering with the course of justice.

The CNG alerted the incoming administration on the dangers of falling for the antics “aimed at causing mishaps and unnecessary devastation and driving Nigeria over the brink into a catastrophe”.

It added: “Instead, the President should remain resolute in ensuring the diligent prosecution of Kanu, his sponsors, backers and collaborators in the heinous crimes against the Nigerian state and innocent Nigerian citizens.

“In order to prevent a descent into anarchy at this day and age, and to forestall mass killings, untold sufferings and atrocities, the federal government must not accede to the current pressure by Ohanaeze and its ilk to secure the unconditional release of the leader of a group that has been duly proscribed as terrorist.”

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 but was granted bail in April 2017.

He fled the country after an invasion of his home in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia, Abia State, by the Nigerian military in September of that year.

He was re-arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021, about four years after he fled the country.