Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned that the re-arrest order against Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), might “destabilise the fragile peace” in the south-east region.
A federal high court in Abuja had revoked the bail granted Kanu in 2017, after his continued absence in court.
Binta Nyako, the presiding judge, also issued an arrest warrant against the IPOB leader, citing his continued absence in court.
But in a statement jointly signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Okwu Nnabuike, its president-general and secretary general respectively, the council pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and grant “presidential pardon” to Kanu.
The statement said Kanu’s first arrest had led to instability and deaths of innocent people in the region, adding that a presidential pardon was one way Buhari could “show compassion to Ndigbo”.
“The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide received the pronouncement and re-arrest order of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, by a Federal High Court in Abuja with rude shock and disbelief,” the statement read.
“Weighing the implications of such action, it may destabilise the fragile peace that have returned to the southern part of Nigeria, especially the South-East and South-South after the sad experiences witnessed during his first arrest and subsequently the untimely death of innocent Igbo youths and women that characterised his first arrest and detention.
“And there is no need to escalate the tension already established in the South-East over the menace of herdsmen ravaging parts of Igboland. There is no need to compound our loss by allowing Nnamdi Kanu return now until Igbo Christians and Traditional leaders intervene in the process.
“We are pleading with President Buhari as the father of the nation to grant presidential pardon to Nnamdi Kanu, as a way of showing compassion to Ndigbo.’’
In a broadcast on Radio Biafra on Saturday, Kanu had tackled the federal government over his prosecution, saying he will challenge the court order seeking his arrest since he is “innocent” of the accusations levelled against him.