Key stakeholders in the South West and South East have welcomed the Federal Government’s hint that it would contemplate a political solution to the legal problem involving Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) and Mr Nnamdi Kanu for Igbo and Yoruba peoples.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) gave the indication that “the Federal Government has been using the amnesty policy to tackle some security challenges in the country and as such, the possibility of a political solution cannot be ruled out.”
The statement by Malami was described by Igboho, who spoke through his lawyer, Chief Yomi Aliyu SAN; the Ohanaeze, through its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia; and the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, as a hint to a possible rapid settlement to the issue.
Igboho said in a statement on Friday that it was notable that the administration appeared to be on the verge of allowing reason to triumph, noting that “no force on earth can suppress the chant of self-determination.”
In the statement signed by his counsel, Chief Alliyu, Igboho said as a peace-loving person, he was “glad that the Federal Government has allowed reasons to prevail in realising that no force on earth can subdue the mantra of self-determination by an indigenous people save referendum and/or sense of belonging and fair treatment of all tribes in accordance with the rule of law.”
He stated that intimidation by imprisonment in foreign land “generally regarded as the 37th State of Nigeria” cannot help the situation “but respect for the rule of law as espoused in the N20.5 billion judgment in favour of our client.”
He said: “The imprisonment is making him more resolute in seeking self-determination for his Yoruba indigenous tribe. Hence, as a mark of good faith, Nigeria should start with instructing its “vassal” state to release our client and allow him to embark on his medical trip to Germany.
“The Republic of Benin has not been able to charge our client for any criminal offence for the over three months that they have held him illegally in their prison in Cotonou. We have his mandate to enter into any binding agreement on his behalf that will also be acceptable to his Oodua Nation Group.”
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a statement, praised the Federal Government for considering a political solution to the agitation and the release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo praised President Muhammadu Buhari for considering a political solution for the release of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Igboho.
Ogbonnia said the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, had on several occasions advised the Federal Government “to learn a lesson from history by not fighting an unwinnable war against nationalism but seek possible peaceful options that are the only solution that guarantees national unity and peaceful coexistence.”
He contended that “in a diverse multiethnic society such as Nigeria, issues of alienation, marginalisation, agitations and inter-ethnic conflicts must of necessity arise. It is very appropriate that dialogue and other forms of conflict resolution mechanisms are spontaneously activated to address such issues as they arise.”
Ohanaeze said Malami’s thought on the option of political solution to the security challenges in Nigeria “reflects the views of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that the Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria and has nothing pending before any institutional authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria.
The common Igbo refrain is equity and justice. Therefore, it is hoped that political solution to the current security challenges will go a long way in sustaining the corporate existence of Nigeria.” It’s a welcome development –Gani Adams
Chief Gani Adams, Yorubaland’s Aare Ona Kakanfo, said the political solution of the charges against Igboho and Kanu was a welcome development.
Adams said the move was a welcome development, coming from Malami, whom he said “must be speaking with permission from the presidency, which wields authority to seek solutions to issues politically.”
He said: “And for the Federal Government to choose that option is a welcome development because the Federal Government is one that has that power to resolve that issue politically, without subjecting them to continued trial. So, I believe the statement coming from the Attorney-General is a welcome development.
“We are happy the statement is coming from the Attorney-General or from the Office of the AttorneyGeneral. He is in charge of Nigeria’s laws; he speaks with the approval of the presidency,” he added.
He decried how proceedings against Kanu had been going in the court, saying it was not possible to try the IPOB leader secretly because “we are not in the military era; we are in a democracy and under a civilian government.”
Adams said Igboho had not committed any offence to warrant his current trial in Benin Republic, noting that all activities engaged in by the activist were peaceful.
“The Federal Government can resolve the issue politically and not only resolving it politically, but the Federal Government should also proffer solution to various agitations in Nigeria. The Federal Government should resolve the issue by allowing the Federating units to be and allow the regions to be as well, because, actually, Nigeria is not moving forward,” Adams said.