-Nnamdi Kanu’s father is a different entity from his son, Abia state government declares.
-Gov Ikpeazu restates commitment to protect all individuals resident in Abia state, irrespective of their ethnicity.
Abia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, on Tuesday, gave assurances that the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Ibeku, His Royal Highness, Eze Isreal Kanu, who is also the father of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will not be dethroned because of the involvement of his son in the ongoing tension in the state.
This follows calls from the Umuahia Youths Movement that the Governor should dethrone Kanu’s father following the unpleasant experiences the citizens of the land were forced to go through as a result of the clash between the military and IPOB members.
The youth group, gave Governor Ikpeazu a 24-hour ultimatum to dethrone Kanu’s father, claiming that the royal father was not fit to be king if he was unable to control his son.
But another group, Ibeku Youth Assembly have risen in defense of the royal father, warning against any attempt to remove the traditional ruler from his throne.
But speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he briefed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo about the security situation in the state, Governor Ikpeazu told State House correspondents that it is not right to punish the father for Kanu’s wrong doing.
According to him, “I clearly separate Kanu from his father. The processes of handling traditional institutions are enshrined in the laws of our land. “Traditional rulers who are members of our constituency have leadership, they will do the needful at the appropriate time.”
READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt to block IPOB funding sources
“But for me, I think their is a clear division between Nnamdi Kanu and his father.”
Fielding question on what went wrong, he said, “It depends from what point to what point. But if you are referring to what happened in the past one week.
Nigerians know that for some time now this group called IPOB is agitating for a separate nation called Biafra and that the home state of the leader of that group happens to be Abia State.
“As expected, when such things happen there is an interface between some members of that group and the military, and the theater was Abia state.
“Some people attempted to hijack that event to conflagrat our country. To the glory of God, the rest is history, we are still working to stabilize the fragile peace in the region.
“I thank God also for the instruments he used to be able to keep our country as one. We are humbled by the privileges.”
READ ALSO: Presidency denounces fake Buhari UN speech
Speaking on the visit by some northern Governors to his state, he said he gave them assurances on the safety of their people in his domain.
“Well, I assured them of safety of lives and property of everybody that resides in Abia whether you are an Abian or not an Abian. I swore with the Bible to protect lives and property and because I take such things seriously, I will continue to protect the lives and property of my brothers and sisters irrespective of where they come from.”
“You know that the main stay of our economy in Abia State is trade and commerce and I do not think it will augur well for our economy if we make our kitchen the theater of Biafra.
“A native wisdom in my place says you shouldn’t allow fight to ensue from your mother’s kitchen. It is my responsibility also to grow prosperity from my state.”
Commenting on the essence of his meeting with the Vice President, he said, “Well, naturally I am heading a subnational government when this kind of thing happens which would have had dimension of national proportion, it is right that you will come and brief the Commander-in-Chief or his vice and that is exactly what I have come to do.”
The Governor also denied claims in some quarters that the IPOB crisis was as a result of failure of leadership in the South East.
He said, “Allegations are supposed to be investigated by investigative officers and I am not trying to investigate such things, so is just the masses especially the press.
“You know, we are perception builders, we should try to say things that are good about our country not things that are bad. I think there are enough reasons to see that under our circumstance that we may not be Eldorado yet but there are concerted efforts and attempts to make our place a better place.
READ ALSO: Biafra: Reps’ Chief Whip slams Saraki for Pro-IPOB statement
“I do not see how as an Ibo man boxing myself into a smaller geographic entity without recourse of the most widely traveled people in Nigeria. There are Igbos in Sambisa, what are you expecting of them if I narrow their geography of coverage.
“But agitation, marginalization, infrastructural deficiencies, these are issues which are germane and they can be discussed, they can be spoken about, they can be addressed. But I do not know how in 21st century how carrying arms in my kitchen will grow the prosperity of my people.”
Addressing Igbos all over the world he said, “First and foremost I think our relationship with our brothers from northern Nigeria the governors, they have assured that every part of Nigeria is safe for every Nigerian including Igbos to continue in their business and enterprise.
“I want to announce that the population of Igbos outside Igbo enclave is about 11.6 million, you don’t play with the lives of 11.6 million. So we all have to be careful, the press, the leadership at the state level, the leadership at the federal government level, everybody.
“I think we should be guided by the rule of law and grow confidence in the Nigerian citizens that under our laws that everybody is protected.”
See this Governorship aspirant’s reaction to the IPOB proscription saga.