Concerned Igbo Community in the United States of America (USA) has commended the ongoing efforts of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu towards securing the release of the leader of Indigenous People’s of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention.
The efforts are principally subsumed in the persistent advocacy by the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), an initiative of the deputy speaker recently unveiled in Bende, Abia State.
The initiative basically seeks the employment of kinetic measures to tackle the security challenges and other sociological issues in the south east region.
The project thrives under 8 major pillars which included education, agriculture, commerce/industry, infrastructural development, culture and tourism, sports/entertainment, governance/leadership and reconciliation/rehabilitation/reintegration.
While urging the non-state actors to lay down their arms and embrace peace, the project is also canvassing amnesty for agitated armed groups in the zone.
It will also be recalled that a few days after the unveiling, Kalu also launched “Food for Peace” initiative under the agriculture and food security pillar of PISE-P and distributed food items to all the local government areas in Abia State amongst other areas in the south east.
Commending the novel idea and patriotic efforts of the deputy speaker in promoting Igbo cause, the Igbo Community also urged Kalu to press further by leading a delegation of Igbo stakeholders to President Bola Tinubu for dialogue over Kanu’s release.
Represented by Dr. Uche Mba, the concerned Igbo Community regretted the opposition mounted by some Igbo political elites who are allegedly working clandestinely to frustrate the efforts of the Deputy Speaker, and ultimately delay Kanu’s release.
The community stated that certain powerful politicians from South East pretended to be seeking the release of Kanu in the open, but mischievously working against his release in secret.
They added that Ndi Igbo needed to build a united front in the efforts to secure Kanu’s release, adding that it “is achievable with the spirit of nwa muo emegbula nwa madu, nwa madu emegbula nwa muo” ( live and let live).
The community also appealed to President Tinubu to as a democrat and staunch member of Campaign for Democracy heed the growing clamour for a political solution to Kanu’s matter, calling on his government not to ignore the pleas from various eminent Igbo personalities and progressive Nigerians to release Kanu.
Accept to the community, Kanu is only an agitator who seeks equity and justice for the oppressed Igbo people.
Faulting the narrative in certain quarters that Kanu is the cause of Nigeria’s problems, the community posited that Kanu by seeking equity, fairness and justice was advocating good governance and a functional social system.
They recalled that the IPOB leader had accepted restructuring after the late Professor Ben Nwabueze spoke to him, but regretted that while he was waiting for his next adjoined court appearance in Abuja, his house in Umuahia was raided by the military.
The raid, according to them, led to his escape for dear life, adding that “engaging Kalu in a dialogue will be in the best interest of everybody.”
The Igbo community which ”deeply appreciates every effort by various persons and groups” to secure Kanu’s release, however cautioned some politicians against using Kanu’s matter “to settle scores with their opponents”.