APGA National Chairman Barr Sly Ezeokenwa has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB Nnamdi Kanu in the interest of peace and prosperity across South East.
Read The Letter Below
AN OPEN LETTER TO SENATOR BOLA AHMED TINUBU, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE URGENT NEED TO RELEASE MAZI NNAMDI KANU FOR SECURITY, PEACE AND PROSPERITY IN THE SOUTH-EAST, NIGERIA.
I am constrained to write to you this open letter as a concerned citizen of South East extraction who feels highly disturbed by the seeming intractable insecurity that is threatening to engulf the once peaceful region. I chose to make it an open letter due to the substantial nay grave nature of the issue at hand, which undoubtedly raises serious concern for all individuals who have a vested interest in the South East and Nigeria at large. This encompasses not only those who are genuinely disturbed about the matter but also those who are currently residing within the country especially within the 5 South Eastern States.
Firstly, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on your recent election to the esteemed position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your longstanding commitment to democracy coupled with your vision for a prosperous Nigeria has resonated with citizens across the nation. It is my earnest hope and belief that you will utilize this rare opportunity to address the yearnings of Nigerians as well as deliver on your promises to Nigerians.
I write to you today with a heartfelt plea for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who has remained in custody despite recent developments in the judicial process. This passionate plea has become imperative as we explore avenues to quell the prevailing insecurity in the South East region and pave way for lasting peace and economic prosperity within that region. Mindful of the recent Supreme Court’s adjournment of the hearing regarding Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s bail appeal until 14 September 2023, I implore you, Mr President, to graciously wield your influence and authority to expedite his release without further undue delay. This case revolves primarily around the Federal Government’s appeal that vehemently challenges the Court of Appeal’s decision from last year, wherein the charges of terrorism and treasonable felony against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu were dismissed.
It is crucial to underscore the fact that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in his pursuit of justice, has lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court, challenging the recent Ruling by the Court of Appeal, which obstructed his rightful release from incarceration. On the 28th of October, 2022, the Court of Appeal in Abuja stayed the execution of its prior judgment that had acquitted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of all charges and directed his immediate release. The implications of this momentous decision demand meticulous consideration of the rule of law within this complex and delicate conundrum. As a leader who pledges adherence to the principles of the rule of law, it is incumbent upon you, Mr President, to ensure that justice is served in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case. Our nation is founded upon the fundamental tenets of democracy, equality, and the right to fair treatment under the law. By upholding these values, we can foster an environment conducive to national unity and harmony.
Beyond the realm of legal implications, the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu holds crucial significance in addressing the prevailing security challenges in the South East. The exigencies of the present precarious situation necessitate decisive action that restores confidence and trust within the affected States, paving the way for genuine dialogue. By promoting reconciliation and empathy, we can make notable contributions towards achieving overall stability in Nigeria.
Mr. President, there had been multitudinous entreaties that resonate throughout the nation, advocating the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The Ohaneze Ndigbo, an apex Igbo Socio-Cultural organization has persistently espoused the cause of Mazi Nnmadi kanu’s unconditional release. The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR in his orations on January 14th and February 16th, 2023, as well as in his written correspondences to the immediate past President on May 25th, 2023, fervently sought the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Moreso, subsequent to your electoral victory to the presidential mantle, Governor Soludo, in the midst of extending his heartfelt congratulations to you, reasserted his plea for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
It is prudent to acknowledge that these supplications traverse the realm of political partisanship. Civil society organizations and Human Rights groups within Nigeria have resoundingly echoed the clarion call for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release, citing the deleterious infringement of his Fundamental Rights. Notably, the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention dispensed its “Opinion No. 25/2022” on July 20, 2022. This Opinion – endorsed unanimously – concluded unequivocally that the Government of Nigeria has perpetrated an illegal detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, thereby violating his Fundamental Rights under International Law.
Your Excellency, there had also been advent of reports substantiating a potentially life-threatening ailment afflicting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s pernicious health deterioration, allegedly exacerbated by a gastrointestinal disorder, engenders considerable disquietude and mandates an inexorable call to deliver immediate humanitarian redress.
Additionally, I feel compelled to address the severe nay debilitating consequences that have resulted from Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s continued incarceration. Since his detainment, the South East region has witnessed a series of unfortunate events, including the recurring “Monday Sit at Home” protests, instances of lawlessness where hoodlums have taken control resulting in killings, and the incessant disruption of vital services such as schools, hospitals, and the movement of both vehicles and people under the guise of championing the call for his release. These detrimental effects have further exacerbated the challenges already faced by the region, impeding progress and hindering the well-being of the populace.
It is imperative to recognize the invaluable contributions proffered by the South East region towards the exponential economic growth and development of our noble nation. Data disseminated by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) incontrovertibly attests to the immense potential that permeates this region. Ergo, it assumes paramountcy that we adroitly address the concerns of the residents of this region, for their welfare stands symbiotically intertwined with the overarching prosperity of our cherished nation. It is crucial to recognize that the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would serve as a catalyst for quelling these disturbances and restoring normalcy. By addressing the root cause of these disruptions and demonstrating a commitment to the principles of justice and the rule of law, we can begin to rebuild trust, safeguard the socio-economic fabric of the region, and pave the way for sustained peace, development, and prosperity.
I implore you, Mr. President, to consider these profound repercussions when mulling the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Enabling his return to society will not only alleviate the immediate challenges faced by the South East but also lay the foundation for long-term stability, progress, and the well-being of its people. More so, the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will allow for a renewed focus on addressing the socio-economic challenges faced by the people of the South East. By providing a conducive environment for economic growth and development, we can unlock the region’s immense potential and ensure the prosperity of its people.
Let it be made manifestly apparent Mr President, that my plea for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu finds no genesis within the realm of political considerations or tinted hues. On the contrary, it stems from a discerning discourse that engages with the inherent perils intimately linked to the South East region. By fervently addressing this urgent matter, we can forge a nexus of unity, bolster national cohesion, and unequivocally affirm our resolute commitment towards the tenets of rule of law.
I beseech you, Mr. President, to give due consideration to the plea for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. By so doing, we can reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law and usher in an era of harmony and progress in the South East region. Your actions today will be remembered as a turning point in our nation’s history, demonstrating your dedication to the principles that underpin a vibrant and united Nigeria.
Appreciating your profound consideration of this pressing matter, I remain hopeful that your decision shall be firmly rooted in the best interests of our beloved nation and its cherished people.
Barr. Sly Ezeokenwa
National Chairman, APGA