Orji Kalu, Senate Chief Whip, has urged the federal government to grant amnesty to detained members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and associates of Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho.
The former Abia State governor stated that the IPOB members and Igboho’s aides should be given the same treatment as repentant Boko Haram insurgents and bandits.
The federal government has rehabilitated some repentant Boko Haram terrorists and reintegrated them back into the society through its Operation Safe Corridor.
Also, some state governors in the banditry-ridden North-west have granted amnesty to some bandits, despite killings and kidnappings.
Kalu, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said granting the detainees amnesty will improve the unity in the country.
“I pleaded with most of our elders in the north and in the south-west; we cannot continue to fight at all times”, he said.
“I am still pleading with them and the federal government to intervene so that we can have a peaceful country. A lot of insurgents and bandits have been granted amnesty.
“I believe in the unity of this country, and I believe this country is better off being in unity, so the best way we can get it is to make sure that IPOB and followers of Sunday Igboho are granted amnesty.
“There is a need to call a roundtable, even without the federal government. This is what the elders can do and give the federal government for endorsement, so we can have peace in our country.
“If we continue this rancour, it wouldn’t augur well, because people are purchasing arms and they are not only being used for this struggle, they are used for kidnapping, banditry and other things, we don’t deserve this”.
Commenting on the continued adherence to the sit-at-home order of IPOB, the senator said the development is detrimental to the economic survival of the south-east.
Kalu said the order will further heap hardship on the people and result in loss of billions of naira.
“I never believed in sit-at-home, because each day they do so, billions of naira is lost, and there are families that the only money they make is the one they make daily,” he stated.
“Any day they don’t make daily money, they don’t feed. So, I don’t think it is the right thing to do at this time for our people, because you cannot punish the same people you say you want to protect.”