By Biodun Busari
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has warned the presidential candidates seeking to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023 to desist from using its detained leader Nnamdi Kanu to campaign ahead of next month’s election.
IPOB gave the warning on Wednesday in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, while reacting to the promise made by the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to grant the unconditional release of Kanu, if elected.
The Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Professor Obiora Okonkwo, yesterday, said Atiku has the plan to restore peace in the South-East and releasing the IPOB leader is one of them.
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Okonkwo made this assertion barely 48 hours that Kanu’s international spokesperson and American counsel, Bruce Fein called on Atiku, Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi to promise to free the self-determination leader from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) if any of them becomes next country’s leader.
Reacting to Okonkwo’s statement, IPOB said PDP should demand that the federal government release their leader and not use it in the campaign.
“IPOB leadership wish to state that its leader should on no account be used as a political bargaining chip for Nigerian election,” the statement said.
It said, “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been judicially declared an innocent man and that follows that he must be released from his continued illegal detention and torture by this present government of APC. We do not expect anything contrary but that the judgement of the Court of Appeal is implemented.
“Moreover the leadership of IPOB wants to inform the PDP that in as much as we have no issue with their statement, their focus should be to demand that the Nigerian government obey the judgement of their own court.
“Our demand has and will remain consistent irrespective of which person or party is occupying Aso Rock the Nigerian seat of power. Our Self Determination agitation is our inalienable right and that is the reason we have demanded a referendum which is a democratic process to enable Biafrans to determine their fate and decide where they wish to belong whether in Nigeria or in a free and Sovereign Biafran nation.”
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