Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to free the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as a 2022 Christmas gift to the South East.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, challenged the president to be a man of his words by allowing the judiciary decide Kanu’s fate without political interference.
The group asked Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to comply with the Appellate Court’s judgement, which had ordered the release of Kanu from the custody of Department of State Services (DSS) before Christmas.
HURIWA believes that the release of Kanu will restore peace and stability to South East, as well as restore economic growth of the zone.
The group expressed disappointment at the nonchalant attitude of South East governors, who, they said, should be mounting pressure on Buhari to do the right thing by releasing Kanu from detention.
Recall that Buhari, in May, at a meeting with Ebonyi State Stakeholders’ Forum, held at the Government House, Abakaliki, said a political solution to Kanu’s travails was impossible, and insisted it is only the court that will decide his fate.
Buhari had promised: “I have listened carefully to appeals from elders to traditional leaders, regarding a wide range of options, and as I have said previously, this matter remains in the full purview of the court where it will be properly adjudicated.”
However, about 18 months since his detention at the DSS custody, in Abuja, the IPOB leader has not tasted freedom despite the judgement of the Appeal Court granting him freedom, and awarding billions of naira as damages against the Federal Government for Kanu’s extraordinary rendition from Kenya mid-2021.
At the moment, the major presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections, including Labour Party’s (LP) Peter Obi, All Progressives Congress’ (APC) Bola Tinubu and Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, have said they will explore dialogue to end secessionist agitations in the South East, and restore the economy of the Igbo people, which has been marred with untold violence and activities of unknown gunmen.