As the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) resumes on October 21, the Greater Igbo Forum has called for a fair hearing in court.
The group demanded that he be produced in court and be given an opportunity to air his own views as is expected of a democratic setup.
Founder of Greater Igbo Forum, Obinna Chikelu Kingsman, who made the call also charged the government of the day to decisively deal with the raging problems of insecurity and also the economy in the interest of Nigerians.
He said the forum stands for all Nigerians as it is not an ethnic group, but for all Nigerians that have an affiliate with the Igbo race either by the mother, by the father, or by marriage or by adoption.
“Having said that, the pertinent issue concerning the Nigerian nation today is about the Nnamdi Kanu’s detention, I can say the first part of it is the equity and justice he deserves to be given a fair hearing in the competent court. As there’s a program tomorrow there’s no question of bringing him or not, he should be allowed to appear in court and then have the opportunity to air his own view and the state too will air their own view that is the right of every individual that is detained by the state, and that is the beauty of democracy and the Rule of Law.
“So my suggestion is to give Nnamdi Kanu a fair hearing, produce him first of all at the court tomorrow and hear him and at the same time look squarely on the way to go about the insecurity issues which a lot of things have come to play, unemployment is there, hunger is there and at the same time the feeling of not belonging that is beside, the Igbo’s are seeing it now.”
Kingsman also said the distribution of the national leadership structure is supposed to represent the Federal Character System.
This, he said, gives everybody a fair level ground where everybody can showcase their talent and strength. “I mean this is a simple thing that calls for justice and implementation and I know there are competent hands everywhere,” he said.
He said though there are competent people everywhere, the country has remained at a level where a section is neglected in terms of being given the opportunity to lead to avoid friction.
“The factors that divide us must be taken into cognisance when we’re looking for peace, that is in terms of ethnicity and religion, and at the same time the people especially the South Easterners, my brothers I plead to them, let us give peace a chance. You don’t get anything through violence, violence destroys but that is why the Greater Igbo Forum stands for dialogue. I believe when all heads are cool, we sit down together and we talk out issues and nobody will play arrogant when the truth is being said,” he said.
Hon. Levi Ezeorah, National President of Greater Igbo Forum also reechoed the call that Kanu be provided in the court and given a fair hearing, which he said would douse tension.
“No matter how you see him, he has followers, he has sympathizers and the issue is, what is this young man clamouring for? We’ve spoken of marginalization, without marginalization there could have been nothing like his struggle, there are people, no matter how you take it there are people that see him as a freedom fighter. What we need to ask is, is there marginalization? If there is, is there any against the Igbo people? If there is, like my forum believes in dialogue is it not necessary to approach the whole thing with dialogue? What is this young man clamouring for? Bring the stakeholders from that region to discuss that, I think that is what will now bring down the tempo and reduce the crisis.
“The continual detention of Nnamdi Kanu in the cell does not solve any problem, it does not, and the Federal Government will do the people good by providing Nnamdi Kanu in the court. A lot of people are receiving the heat and even the IPOB people have been infiltrated by people who are even using that to create a crisis and the moment Nnamdi Kanu is tried properly I think we will reduce the tension.
On his part, award-winning journalist, Mr Ben Okezie, said as far as Nnamdi Kanu is concerned, the government should embrace transparency in dealing with the IPOB question.
“The government should be open, they shouldn’t in anyway twist the arm of justice against him, they should allow justice to prevail and then, I also believe that the judge that is handling the case will be fair and will not in any way allow any government to dictate what they should do. But every eye is open, the world is watching, he’s a freedom fighter and a freedom fighter should not be subjected to the type of injustice that we’re perceiving that the government is trying to inflict on him.
“But nonetheless, I believe that the Federal Government of Nigeria will be fair in everything they’re doing with Nnamdi Kanu whether they’re going to bring him on that day depends on the information that the security agencies must have gotten, if they find out that the atmosphere or environment will not be very very clear for him, then I think they’ll not produce him. But if they find out that everywhere will be secured then I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t bring him to the court for ruling But this what one expects that they should be fair in everything they’re doing with Nnamdi Kalu, there shouldn’t be like using a sledgehammer to kill an ant,” he said.