NEWSNigerian News Update

Ohanaeze backs Kanu, raises legal team

By Walter Okoye

The apex Igbo cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has on Sunday, July 11, come out with a comment on its position on the re-arraignment and consequent trial of the Biafran secessionist leader and head of the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

In a communique issued after the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, held on Saturday in Enugu and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, where current local and national issues were discussed and far-reaching resolutions passed.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo stated that “ We have observed with keen interest the recent re-arraignment and consequent trial of our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”

Ohanaeze insisted that “in as much as Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not averse to the trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we however submit that he should be tried within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in line with global best practices.”

The apex Igbo body pledged its support to his defence promising “that as part of our avowed determination to ensure the fair trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, we have constituted a legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and eminent Igbo leaders to monitor the legal proceedings, throughout the trial.”

Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze has thrown its weight behind the recent decisions of the Southern Governors on the ban on open grazing, restructuring, rotation of the presidency to the south and 5 percent share to host communities in the Petroleum Industries Bill (PIB).

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Ohanaeze aligned their position with that of the Igbo youths noting “that we identify with the Igbo youths in their grievances with respect to Igbo marginalisation, menace of the Fulani herdsmen, etc; however, we do not support the use of any form of violence to redress the relative deprivation and prevailing inequality and injustice across the country.”

The group, therefore, urged the youths to eschew violence and advised them to be law abiding and “sheath their sword as the South-East leaders and stakeholders address these our collective grievances through meaningful dialogue and negotiations.”

It further urged Ndigbo particularly the youths to take the ongoing voters’ registration exercise seriously, “as this is the only means that guarantees effective participation in Nigerian politics and a sine qua non to achieve our goals and aspirations in Nigeria project.

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