George Obiozor, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, says the federal government should adopt political solution on the case of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him by the federal government.
In November 2021, south-east traditional and religious leaders had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesty to Kanu to deescalate tension in the zone.
But Buhari, in a recent interview, had said he cannot release Kanu, adding that the IPOB leader should defend himself in court.
Asked to respond to Buhari’s recent comment on Kanu, Obiozor, in an interview on Channels Television on Thursday, said political solution is possible since militants in the south-south and repentant Boko Haram members have been offered amnesty.
“We in Igboland have made it categorically clear that we prefer a political solution to it — a dialogue to end it. It is clear to the rest of Nigeria,” he said.
“And we have repeatedly said that Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria. Therefore, what is happening can be handled. I will use the words ‘political solution’ as the answer. Dialogue is the answer.
“Just as other sections of Nigeria, some areas of Nigeria, people who behaved like Kanu have been forgiven, given amnesty and integrated into the country.
“So, what we are asking is for Mr President to use the prerogative of mercy to look into the situation in the south-east.
“Prerogative of mercy is exclusively the right of the president. We are not talking about court. We are not talking about use of force. Use of force is dangerous for everybody and it will definitely not solve the problem. It will make it worse.
“We are not new to Nigeria’s politics. We saw in south-south — Niger Delta Avengers, MEND — and the rest, even the present Boko Haram, those who said they are repenting, how they are being rehabilitated.
“The problem of federalism is that the sensitivity is very much on the surface. If you don’t do one as you have done others, you will have problem.”