By Chinelo Obogo
Former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has said some ministers close to President Muhammadu Buhari have assured Igbo leaders that their request for the unconditional release of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, would be granted.
Speaking on Arise TV, Ezeife said after a delegation of South East leaders led by former Minister of Aviaition, Mbazulike Amechi, met with the president at Aso Rock and among other issues, requested for Kanu’s release, ministers who were present told them to be hopeful that their request would be granted.
“After the meeting, we talked to people who are familiar with the president and they told us that from his body language, he took us very seriously and that we should take his promise to look into it seriously also. We were quite happy and I also took the oppourtunity of the meeting to thank the president for a successful Anambra election.
“We asked the ministers who work with the president and who were at the meeting what we should go home with and they told us to be hopeful and I think I myself, I am hopeful because our leader, Mbazuilike Amechi made a very powerful presentation. Amaechi is 10 years older than me and he remembers things more than I do. It is not just Nnamdi Kanu, we have Sunday Igboho, the Middle Belt, the Niger Delta and all they are complaining about is not being happy with the Nigerian situation and it is important to deal with these issues in a comprehensive way.
“Mbazulike spoke for us and he made promises about our ability to control the situation if Kanu is released but I don’t know the way the president must have taken it. But we were happy with the way the president spoke to us and treated us. He was punctual and didn’t keep us waiting and he also sounded very genuine.
“We are praying for peace to return to the South East and we believe that peace would return. The success of the Anambra election is proof that God answers prayers and peace would return. Those who are not at the core of IPOB are exploiting the fears of the people and are making money from this thing. We are business people in the east, so it is not in our interest to sit-at-home doing nothing. The leadership of IPOB understands this and they are not in support of sit-at-home but there are others who are taking advantage of the situation,” he said.
President Buhari recently told some Igbo leaders and serving ministers, who met him to demand for the unconditional release of Kanu, that the demand was heavy but he would consider it. The IPOB leader is standing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Buhari, who met the Igbo leaders under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats led by Amaechi, told the 93-year-old statesman and his entourage that the demand they made was an extremely difficult one but that he would consider it.
Meanwhile, the FCT leadership of Ohanaeze has commended Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, for his thoughtful and productive initiative resulting to the recent visit of Igbo elders to President Buhari.
According to a statement by Nze Ifeanyichukwu Obasi-Nweze: “It is gratifying that an articulate and punchy presentation was made for the exploration of a political solution for the possible release of the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the resolution of the underlying causes of the agitation.
“This visit, unlike previous ones was done without the usual fanfare, showmanship and political encumbrances. But with seriousness of purpose, resulting in the candid response of President Buhari which has really doused tension in the zone.
“By this singular action, the former Anambra governor has once again etched his name in the Igbo annals as a reliable Igbo son who always, proudly stands to be counted.”
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Source: What Buhari’s ministers told us about Nnamdi Kanu’s release –Ezeife – The Sun Nigeria