Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vowed to boycott elections in 2023 if Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, was not granted freedom in 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group urged President Buhari to release Kanu so that peace, security and stability can return to South-East Nigeria.
The group made the call in a statement on Saturday by its Secretary-General Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari should release Nnamdi Kanu in 2022 to authorise peace, security, and stability to return to southeastern Nigeria.
“But if he’s not released in 2022 as being championed by Northern leadership (Arewa Consultative Forum and Northern Elders Forum), there will be no 2023 elections in Eastern Nigeria with the evidence of sit-at-homes in the East and it will deteriorate the security challenges of Southern Nigeria.
“Buhari cannot shy away from releasing Nnamdi Kanu, it will help to obliterate the negative impression of Nigeria in the eyes of the international community, and restore the dignity of Nigeria, and re-admit her amongst the commit of nations.
“In 2023, we are committed to a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction as a result of addressing the equity, fairness and obeying the agreement of rotational presidency reached by Nigeria’s patriots in 1999, which has helped to stabilise the country.
“It will be unwise to scuttle it now it favours Ndigbo, we will commence the political journey of 2023 with persuasive visits to all the geopolitical zones of the country by January 13, 2023.
“But in the case of conspiracy, sabotage, and denial of Igbo the 2023 presidential tickets in APC and PDP, both the conspirators and saboteurs will only be available for the doomsday and may not superintendent the affairs of the country in 2023, as secessionist groups will be strengthened and unified by the evidence of political neglect, marginalisation, and enslavement of Eastern Nigeria.”
Kanu is facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by the Nigerian Government in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
He was granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but skipped bail after flouting some of the conditions given to him by the court.
His rearrest and forceful extradition to Nigeria in June this year have been condemned by many rights groups around the world.
SaharaReporters, New York