Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, an Igbo sociocultural association, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesty to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The request was made know in a statement signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, ahead of President Buhari’s visit to Imo State.
The group is different from Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the more popular one headed by George Obiozor.
According to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, President Buhari should, in the interest of peace, also pardon all pro-Biafra agitators currently in the custody of the various security agencies.
The statement read: “The President should grant presidential pardon to all pro-Biafra agitators and the leader of the IPOB, Kanu, from there, the truce will commence towards addressing the demands of the secessionist groups across the Igbo land as it predominantly relates to the continued marginalization of the Igbo race in the Nigeria scheme of things.
“The presidential amnesty would douse the tension necessitated from the rearrest of Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators detained in security formations across the federation.
“The visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the southeast zone will become significant and highly appreciative if the president comes to Imo state in the southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, and look into these issues critically and holistically.”
The group also called on the president to facilitate the creation of Aba State in the South-East region in line with the recommendation of the Professor Chigozie Ogbu-led committee report.
The group said the creation of the state would be a gift for Ndigbo and ensure equity with the number of states in the region in comparison with other regions in southern Nigeria.
The statement read: “We have the least states in the country. Recall that a committee on State creation was set up by the national body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and was chaired by the current Vice-Chancellor of Ebonyi State University.
“Professor Chigozie Ogbu submitted its report which recommended the creation of Aba state to ensure structural balancing, we demand from the President that that report should be implemented, because, it will go a long way in addressing some of the challenges facing the southeast.
“This charter of demands will correct the erroneous messages that President Buhari’s visit to Imo state is an alleged endorsement of open grazing routes and part of the fulanilazation of the South.”