Kanu must lead negotiation with FG – Igbo groups insist

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No fewer than 42 South-East and South-South groups met on Wednesday in Enugu insisting on the release of detained Biafra activist, Nnamdi Kanu.

The groups met to finalize plans for their mega rallies towards restructuring Nigeria along the lines of true federalism.

According to them, the rallies earlier planned to hold within 13 cities and towns in the South East, would now hold in 20 cities and towns within the two zones.

Speaking after the meeting at the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, secretariat in Enugu, the convener of the meeting and founder of IYM, Evang. Elliot Uko said the peaceful marches for true federalism had become pertinent, because Nigeria was over heated due principally to the unitary system of administration, the military imposed on the country in 1966.

He said, “for 49 years, Nigeria has been boiling consistently, sometimes silently seething with rage inside; sometimes the lava hots up and the hot coke gushes out like a volcanic eruption. Imposed peace of 1970 has worn out; everybody is on edge; June 12 election would not have been annulled if Nigeria were practising true Federalism. It was annulled because the winner-takes-all attitude of any holder of central power in Nigeria keeps the stakes so high that the struggle for centre is usually fierce and victory usually vindictive.

“Niger Delta Militancy, Boko Haram, etc would never had happened if Nigeria practices true federalism where regions were free to develop their zones according to their culture, faith and style. We have been deceiving ourselves for too long.”

Uko continued that “with Boko Haram still on the rampage in the North East and the Shi’ite Muslim wahala erupting now in the North West, in addition to the Biafra agitation in the East, you’ll wonder why any sensible person will want Nigeria to continue with this unacceptable 1999 constitution.

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“The belief of the Federal Government that force will quench this tension is false and counterproductive. Nigeria clearly needs a new constitution, one built on true federalism and equity and justice for all. This unitary structure is clearly not working.”

The meeting also called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu immediately in order to allow him lead the IPOB team that will dialogue with the Federal Government.

“Kanu’s early release is the only way forward. We are calling on the Federal Government for the third time to release Kanu without delay, so he would lead the team that would engage F.G. in talks. His continuous detention will never resolve the impasse. Government’s plan to use force to crush the IPOB will never work.

“We restate that IPOB can only talk with Federal Government when Nnamdi Kanu is heading the team”, Uko concluded.

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