Demands for Nnamdi Kanu’s release difficult, but I will consider – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday gave indications that he may consider an unconditional pardon for the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),Nnamdi Kanu.
This followed intervention of the Igbo leaders and well-meaning Nigerians who had pleaded for a political solution to the intractable security challenges ravaging the South East.
The latest of such a group, under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi, were at State House, Abuja, to add their voice to the plea for Nnamdi Keanu’s release.
But President Buhari, while responding to their requests , however to,d the 93-year-old statesman, that “An unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), currently standing trial, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary”
He told the group that they have “ made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country, ” adding that “But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it.”
The President described the requests as having “Serious implication”
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“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 a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already.
He noted further that the request will “Stress his policy of non-interference with the Judiciary”
According to the President “ 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.”
The President condoled with Amaechi, who recently buried his wife, praying that her soul would rest in peace.
The nonagenarian had described the situation in the Southeast as “painful and pathetic,” lamenting that businesses have collapsed, education is crumbling, and there is fear everywhere.
He pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, requesting that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive, “he would no longer say the things he had been saying,” stressing that he could control him, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”
Amaechi said twice he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu in the past, and the latter rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.
He concluded: “I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”
Other people in the visiting delegation were; Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State, Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mbazulike Amaechi.