…Gives tips for restoration of peace
By Steve Oko
Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), and Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, has finally broken his silence on the strategic August 30, 2017 meeting between South East Leaders and the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The Deputy Secretary, Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), said he decided to open up five years after the meeting based on a some weighty questions postulated by Kanu’s family in a recent interview with Vanguard newspapers.
Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel, had in an exclusive interview with Vanguard on January 1st, 2023, sought to know why Igbo Leaders who had before now, mouthed restructuring suddenly gone mute after the September 14, 2017 military raid on their family house and subsequent abduction and extraordinary rendition of Kanu from Kenya.
He also demanded to know why Igbo Leaders who had invited his brother for a meeting in Enugu a week before the invasion, failed to fulfill their promise of relaying to the Federal Government the outcome of the parley even after pressuring the IPOB Leader to agree to suspend agitation for one year to give room for implementation of his demands.
Kanu’s family further sought to know why the clamour for restructuring hitherto championed by different individuals and groups, had taken the back seat.
Uko who said the Enugu parley between Kanu, South East Governors and Leaders, was facilitated by him, expressed regret that five years down the line, peace had remained elusive in the zone.
He noted that Kanu had actually agreed at the meeting to step down agitation for one year for possible restructuring of Nigeria, but regretted that Kanu’s house came under attack a night before the re-scheduled date of a follow up meeting with the Igbo leaders.
He begged Kanu’s family to prevail on him to still abide by his earlier promises at the Enugu meeting.
Below is a full text of a press statement issued by Uko, and made available to Vanguard:
” I am forced to break my self-imposed silence over the impasse in the land, after reading in the media a reference of the August 30, 2017 peace meeting between Nnamdi Kanu and the South East Governors.
“Kanu’s family represented by his younger brother Emmanuel Kanu, as published by the Vanguard Newspaper, asked certain questions including the surprising silence of leaders and stakeholders in the land, over the outcome of the 2017 meeting.
“I think it is auspicious to say something about the August 30, 2017 peace meeting in Enugu, since I facilitated the meeting by the grace of God. And since peace has remained elusive till date.
“Dr Alex Ekwueme takes the credit for that noble effort five years ago, which gladly remains the only historical instance where Nnamdi ever agreed to shift his position from demanding outright secession, to agreeing to the restructuring of Nigeria and quieting the agitation for twelve months, on the condition that the country takes the restructuring of the country very seriously.
“The former Vice President impressed upon Nnamdi the need to shift his position to restructuring, and level playing field for every section of the country.
“Others who mounted pressure on Nnamdi to yield to restructuring included Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa, Dr Dozie Ikedife, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Chief (Mrs) Maria Okwor, Prof Ben Nwabueze amongst others.
“24 hours to the Enugu meeting, Nnamdi finally capitulated to the pressure from these elders and agreed to shift his demands to the restructuring of the country, but insisted that he would only mute the agitation for only twelve months to see if the authorities would seriously kick start the process to restructure the country, and that he would go back to the trenches if nothing is done towards the genuine and sincere reconstruction of the polity along the lines of true federalism and power devolution. He also insisted the country reverts to the 1963 constitution.
“These were his demands and position at the August 30, 2017 meeting.”
“It is instructive to note that at the meeting, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, told Nnamdi that the people of his state were not exactly excited about going back to the old Eastern Region.
“Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi also maintained that Enugu people are not willing to revert to a situation that would cost them their state, but promised to present his demands to Abuja.
“The meeting ended on a good note with Nnamdi promising to attend the follow-up meeting scheduled in a fortnight with his team according to the consensual agreement of all.
“Finally, Nnamdi also agreed that his demands weren’t absolute, meaning, that his position was amenable to change as the dialogue progresses.
“These were the contents of the August 30, 2017 meeting between Nnamdi and the South East Governors, which I had the privilege to facilitate.
“I opened up after many years of silence because I believe that peace, resolution and closure can be achieved.
“I pray Nnamdi will have the godly spirit and good mind to remain on his position delivered at the peace meeting with the South East Governors five years ago.
“I hereby publicly call on Emma Kanu to plead with his brother that the August 30, 2017 position will lead faster to peace and resolution than any other position.
“I am breaking my silence on now because facts have proven that the situation only got worse within the past five years.
“Whatever inspired the decision to attack Nnamdi Kanu’s residence on the eve of the scheduled follow up meeting a fortnight away, on September 14, 2017, hasn’t resolved the situation, ended the agitation nor brought peace to the land.
“In fact, things have only gotten worse since then.The quite avoidable and senseless violence eating up the land today is heartrending.
“The paralysis of economic life in the region every Monday for a year and half now, is pathetic.
“Those who refused to dialogue with the agitators since 1999 should kindly have a change in heart so the region can have peace.
“My appeal is for all sides to look again at the August 30, 2017 meeting agreement in pursuit of peace, resolution and closure.Peace and harmony should be the priority now.”
The post Revealed: How python dance aborted Nnamdi Kanu, S’East leaders’ deal – Elliot Uko appeared first on Vanguard News.
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