11th July, 2021
By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo has broken its silence on the re-arrest and travails of secessionist agitator Nnamdi Kanu.
The group said the leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) must be tried within the ambit of the laws of the country and in line with global best practices.
Ohaneze Ndigbo said this in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Committee meeting held on Saturday at its National Secretariat in Enugu.
The spokesperson of the group, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, gave journalists the document on Sunday.
Ohaneze in the communique noted that to ensure a fair trial of the leader of the IPOB, it has constituted a legal team and eminent Igbo leaders that will be led by its National Legal Adviser to monitor the proceedings throughout the trial.
The group also aligned itself with grievances of the Igbo youths on the marginalization, the menace of Fulani herdsmen among others.
The six-point resolution read, “That Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has observed with keen interest the recent re-arraignment and consequent trial of our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“That, in as much as Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not averse to his trial, we however submit that he should be tried within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in line with global best practices.”
It added, “Ohanaeze strongly supports the stand taken by the Southern Governors Forum on anti-open grazing, restructuring, rotation of the President of Nigeria to the South in 2023, and the proposed 5% share of the Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB) for the host communities.
“That we identify with the Igbo youths in their grievances with respect to Igbo marginalization, the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, etc, however, we do not support the use of any form of violence to redress the relative deprivation and prevailing inequality and injustice across the country.”
The group urged Igbo youths to be law-abiding and sheath their sword, and allow their leaders and stakeholders to address grievances through meaningful dialogue and negotiations.
They also urged members of the Igbo community to take the ongoing voters’ registration exercise seriously especially the youths. Ndigbo says “it is the only means that guarantees effective participation in Nigerian politics and a sine qua non to achieve our goals and aspirations in the Nigerian project.”