The apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has pledged its support for the arrested leader of the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The group made this known in a communique issued after the meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Saturday in Enugu and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia.
Ohanaeze also raised a legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and eminent Igbo leaders to monitor Kanu’s trial.
The group, however, asked the Federal Government to try Kanu within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in line with global best practices.
The communique reads: “We have observed with keen interest the recent re-arraignment and consequent trial of our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“In as much as Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not averse to the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we, however, submit that he should be tried within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in line with global best practices.
“As part of our avowed determination to ensure the fair trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we have constituted a legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and eminent Igbo leaders to monitor the legal proceedings, throughout the trial.”
The group also supported the recent decisions of the Southern Governors on the ban on open grazing, restructuring, rotation of the presidency to the south and 5 percent share to host communities in the Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB).
Ohanaeze aligned their position with that of the Igbo youths noting “that we identify with the Igbo youths in their grievances with respect to Igbo marginalisation, menace of the Fulani herdsmen, etc; however, we do not support the use of any form of violence to redress the relative deprivation and prevailing inequality and injustice across the country.”
The group, therefore, urged the youths to eschew violence and advised them to be law-abiding and “sheath their sword as the South-East leaders and stakeholders address these our collective grievances through meaningful dialogue and negotiations.”
It further urged Ndigbo particularly the youths to take the ongoing voters’ registration exercise seriously, “as this is the only means that guarantees effective participation in Nigerian politics and a sine qua non to achieve our goals and aspirations in Nigeria project.”