The Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural organization has urged President Bola Tinubu to grant an unconditional pardon to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Yoruba Nation freedom fighter, Sunday Igboho to the sacrifices of late nationalists like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Ahmadu Bello.
In a statement to mark Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary, the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the unconditional freedom of Kanu and Igboho would help alleviate the disintegration threats facing Nigeria.
He urged the Federal Government to use the occasion of the 63rd Independence Day anniversary to demonstrate a commitment to unity and peace, in the “spirit of the sacrifices made by the nation’s founding fathers.”
Isiguzoro said both activists have been vocal about the need for improved security and economic conditions in Southern Nigeria.
He noted that the current political climate has led to a resurgence of calls for secession.
According to Isiguzoro: “The 63rd Independence Day anniversary of Nigeria on the 1st of October 2023 will be observed with mixed feelings. While the nation is celebrating its freedom from colonial rule, it also grapples with the ongoing tensions and political unrest within its borders. The apex Igbo organization, in particular, reflected on the significant contributions of Nigerian Nationalists towards achieving independence in Nigeria in 1960.
Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, a pan-Africanist and prominent Igbo leader, was one of the key figures who led the struggle for Nigeria’s independence. His efforts, along with those of other nationalists, were instrumental in achieving sovereignty for Nigeria. However, the current political climate has led to a resurgence of calls for secession, particularly from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The detention of Kanu by the Federal Government, led by President Tinubu, has been a source of tension and controversy. Many Nigerians are questioning the government’s actions, particularly as they contrast with the lack of prosecution for Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho. Both activists have been vocal about the need for improved security and economic conditions in Southern Nigeria, a cause that gained traction under the previous administration of President Buhari.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo call on President Tinubu to consider the unity of Nigeria above other interests. They have pleaded for a Presidential pardon for both Kanu and Igboho because it would honour the sacrifices made by Nigerian nationalists like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Ahmadu Bello.”