President Muhammadu Buhari with Igbo leaders led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi (seated) at the State House, Abuja on Friday.
Igbo leaders under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats have appealed to the President, Muhammadu Buharil, to ensure the release of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The group led by First Republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, 93-year-old Mbazulike Amaechi, made the appeal during a visit to the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
Other members of the delegation were former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazurike and Tagbo Amaechi.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari while responding to the Igbo leaders, stated that though the demand was heavy, he would consider it.
Buhari said unconditional release of the IPOB leader, who is currently standing trial, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.
The President said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as the 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 (referring to the ex-minister), and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
During the meeting, the nonagenarian described the situation in the South-East as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting businesses had collapsed while education was crumbling amid fears.
He promised that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic minister still alive, “he (Kanu) would no longer say the things he had been saying.”
Meanwhile IPOB has sought the intervention of the United Kingdom, urging the British Government to embark on an “aggressive diplomatic engagement” to ensure Kanu was released unconditionally. ‘‘in the shortest possible time.’’
It also alleged that over 300 IPOB members were being held across detention camps nationwide.
The lead lawyer to IPOB, Chief Ifeanyi Ejiofor, stated these in a letter to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria dated November 17.