By KEMI KASUMU
Although one of few trusted and trustworthy governors in the country, Governor of Anambra State, South East Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has taken an ostensibly difficult security decision by his latest declaration, begging President Muhammadu Buhari to release the ‘supreme’ leader of terrorist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to him on bail, adding that he will stand as his surety.
The DEFENDER, Nigeria’s only multi-lingual newspaper currently online, reports that the unapologetic attitude of Enyinaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader, to his betrayal of state trust, when he stood surety for Kanu after he was granted bail in April 2017, is one major reason many patriots see such release of the terrorist commander to any surety at this time as a no longer feasible action to take by the Federal Government.
Governor Soludo made the decision to have Kanu released to him, when in Saturday he appealed to President Buhari for the release of the terrorist IPOB leader, who remains in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since his re-arrest in June 2021.
The decision by Soludo, who is also former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was coming days after Channels Television reported that the Chief Whip of the Senate and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, similarly offered to stand as Kanu’s surety if granted bail again.
Soludo, who spoke at a rally in Akwa, Anambra State capital to launch the national campaign of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), underscored the need for critical conversations on the degenerating security situation in the South East involving all major stakeholders.
“I now want to appeal and plead and request and demand of the Federal Government and our able president led by President Buhari that a critical person [is] required around that table for that conversation to be complete for us to have an all-round approach to dealing with the issue of insecurity and discussing the future of the South-East.
“That person – and we need him urgently around the table, please release him to us – and that is Nnamdi Kanu. I’m calling on the Federal Government to please release Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.
The wife of the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu, could be seen applauding the governor and wearing a wide grin.
According to Soludo, the South East needs Kanu at the table, saying the people of the region are prepared for a “comprehensive, heart-to-heart conversation” about the future, security, and prosperity of the geopolitical zone.
“No one should be left behind; everybody should be there. If we cannot release him unconditionally as requested by the court judgements and so on, I now offer to be the surety. Release him to me. I will keep him. Release Nnamdi Kanu to me.
“I will keep him. I will provide him shelter and anytime that you need him, we will bring him to you. Give him to me, we will house him here in Awka. Let us release him and let us bring this insecurity in the South-East to an end,” the governor said.
On October 13, 2022, a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja acquitted and discharged Kanu from terrorism charges but the Federal Government appealed the decision and the court granted the government’s request to stop the execution of the judgment freeing the IPOB leader, according to Channels Television.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria governor appreciated President Buhari for the support of the security agencies in tackling insecurity in the region.
“But here is the big one: as the security says, we need kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to solve this problem. We thank you for all the kinetic in terms of the force,” he said.
“We have also inaugurated the Truth, Justice, and Peace Committee in Anambra to go to the root causes, immediate and remote causes of the insecurity in the South-East, and that commission is completing its work.
“We’re also engaging the youths and implementing various forms of non-kinetic engagement. But it is now time for the Federal Government to help us with the last leg of this non-kinetic approach.”
Abaribe, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria earning his living and drawing his security protection from Nigeria’s resources, supported IPOB which sees Nigeria as a zoo and stood surety along one other person for its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and when Kanu was needed back in court, the Senator not only failed to produce him but also he became vocal and frequent in the Nigerian press castigating the Nigerian Army to go to court and explain where the Nigeria’s main defence backbone kept the terrorist leader.
“Not only that Abaribe bragged further that he did not feel betrayed by Nnamdi Kanu, who in actual fact jumped bail, fled the country same year of release and was found not to be in custody of the Army as alleged but also, the Abia State Senator added insult to the national injury by also boasting that he was ready to stand surety for Kanu again, when after four years of messing around Europe and United States of America with attempt to undermine the sovereignty and security of Nigeria he was re-arrested in June 2021,” one of the concerned citizens recalled.
He, however, would not be averse to the release, if the military and other security intelligence agencies see the governor’s request to be in line with their kinetic and non-kinetic approach to tackling insecurity in the states affected by terrorist activities.