From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has warned that any attempt by President Buhari to release Kanu, outside the court processes would reduce Nigeria to a lawless state where criminals commit crimes and ask their leaders to press for their release.
In a press conference in Kano, the Coalition, which consists of rights and Civil organisations in Northern Nigeriia, expressed strong opposition to the release of Kanu even as it tasked President Buhari to reclaim his statesmanship by refusing to interfere with the principles of seperation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.
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“We especially note, with deep sense of concern, the unrelenting desperation by certain interest groups in the South East to subvert the due process of justice and tamper with the judicial processes since Kanu’s arraignment,” it declared.
The Coalition, through its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman warned that the North would not remain idle when its people are deliberately targeted and killed while the alleged perpetrators are shielded by their leaders.
It added that the North would hold President Buhari responsible for the blood of Northerners unlawfully shed through the activities of Kanu in the event he succumbed to pressure to release the leader of IPOB
“The North has today realised that he (Buhari) places more premium on the pursuit of votes and political popularity than he does for the sanctity of lives of Northerners and security personnel who stake their lives in the service of the nation.”
The Coalition confessed that the composition of the Igbo group that visited Buhari has vindicated its position that the criminal activities of Kanu was fully supported by the vast majority of Igbo elders, politicians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, business persons and the larger population of the South East.
The Coalition demanded the arrest and prosecution of all those Igbo leaders and any other group or individual involved in the complicity to get Kanu freed by subverting the course of justice.
Similarly, elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, cautioned President Buhari against interfering in the trial of the leader of IPOB, saying doing so would be dangerous.
Yakasai, in an interview with Daily Sun, feared that releasing the IPOB leader would give the impression that rebellion pays.
He appealed to the President not take any action that would encourage the proliferation of rebellious groups in Nigeria, especially now that, “The country is enjoying a harmonious relationship among its various ethnic groups”.
Yakasai also faulted the delegation of Igbo elders, who visited Aso Rock under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats saying that they appeared to have been handpicked for a purpose even as he claimed that none of them is an active member of the umbrella Igbo socio cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo.
“I am also concerned that the delegation has the capacity of giving the impression that the activities of Nnamdi Kanu and his group enjoy a widespread popularity among Igbo people, an impression which is not true” he said.
He further argued that drawing from his vast experience, especially in the First Republic, this kind of impression of associating the actions of a few to the whole has the tendency of heightening distrust between and among regions in Nigeria.
He said Nigerians were living in peace and harmony adding that the secessionist demand in some regions was a reflection of the position of a few and not that of the majority of the people from the regions they claim to represent