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Atiku seeks political solution to Nnamdi Kanu saga, says it’ll defuse tension in south-east

Atiku Abubakar Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, has called for a political solution to the Nnamdi Kanu imbroglio. 

Kanu, who is the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was extradited to Nigeria in 2021.

He is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony at the federal high court Abuja. 

Kanu’s trial has stoked tension and violence in the south-east region, with the militant wing of IPOB invoking his prolonged detention to unleash mayhem on hapless residents.

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IPOB has also been enforcing sit-at-homes in the south-east since Kanu was forcibly brought back to Nigeria.

Last week, IPOB declared May 30 as a sit-at-home in the south-east to honour “our heroes and heroines” who died in the civil war between 1967 and 1970.

“Every Biafran in Biafra territory is expected to sit at home on this day and reflect on the danger of the forced unity called Nigeria that have taken millions of lives of Biafrans,” Emma Powerful, IPOB spokesperson, said in a statement.

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The police had asked residents of the region to ignore IPOB’s directive.

On May 30, five soldiers were killed by gunmen in Abia state.

The gunmen who were purportedly enforcing the sit-at-home, opened fire on a military checkpoint in Obikabia junction in Aba.

The military has vowed to retaliate the killings. 

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Reacting to the latest spate of killings in the south-east, Abubakar condemned the murder of the soldiers.

“The violence that led to the killing of soldiers and civilians in Abia State on Thursday stands condemned,” Abubakar wrote on his X page. 

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who may have lost a loved one. May their souls rest in peace.

“But even more profound is the impact of yesterday’s sit-at-home in the Southeast region of our country on students writing WAEC examinations.

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“The veil of the so-called unknown gunmen hiding undercover to unleash death and mayhem must be lifted to ensure that criminal elements are separated from legitimate agitators.”

Abubakar also urged the federal government to go outside of the courts.

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“To this end, without prejudice to the ongoing legal processes, I think the time has come to explore a political resolution to the Nnamdi Kanu and other associated issues,” he added.

“I believe that this will defuse the compressor cooker situation in the region. It will be a win-win for all parties.”

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