By Anayo Okoli – Enugu
SOUTH East Traditional rulers have demanded from the Federal Government, the release of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The monarchs who made the demand under their umbrella body of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to release Kanu from detention into the hands of the Igbo traditional and religious leaders.
Rising from a meeting, the royal fathers expressed worry over the escalation of crisis in the South East with the attendant hardship on the people.
They lamented that they “have watched with utter dismay and sadness the rapid deterioration of the affairs of Igbo land resulting in gruesome killings, destruction of properties, a general atmosphere of fear and aprogressive militarisation of our home land”.
Besides the five South East States, the monarchs said “in other Igbo speaking areas, there is a distinct feeling of disaffection, frustration and distrust, all of which are alien to our culture and tradition as a people”.
They called on the President to show sagacity, pragmatism, statesmanship and fatherliness by de-proscribing the IPOB as a terrorist organization.
In a 15-paragragh statement signed by Eze Joseph N. Nwabeke, the Chairman, Abia State Tradtional Rulers Council; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council; Igwe L.O.C. Agubuzu, the Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council and Eze Dr. E.C. Okeke, the Chairman Imo State Traditional Rulers Council, they also called on President Buhari to de-escalate the military presence in the South East zone.
While engaging Buhari, the monarchs also urged “all stakeholders in the entire cross section of Alaigbo to shealt their swords and let us rally together for mutual forgiveness and healing so as to reset our strategy for engaging meaningfully with our fellow citizens in other parts of the country.
“Cutting our nose to spite out face does not help our present situation.
“It is senseless to destroy our home land or be assessoty to its destruction in order for us to prove our marginalization”.
The royal fathers noted that the present challenges in Alaigbo and the entire nation is not insurmountable if genuinely addressed with honesty, mutual respect and full recognition that lasting peace, progress d would come from dialogue not through arm conflict and a general atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
They therefore urged President Buhari “to show sagacity, pragmatism, statesmanship and release Nnamdi Kanu into the hands of Igbo tradition and religious leaders”.