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I didn’t Discuss Nnamdi Kanu’s Release With SE Govs – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has denied being part of the session that discussed the release of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),  leader, Nnamdi Kanu, during a recent meeting of the South East Governors Forum.

A statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, in Abeokuta on Wednesday refuted claims in widely circulated reports that the former president discussed the subject and also canvassed for the IPOB leader’s release.

Akinyemi insisted that the discussions centred on key areas such as security, infrastructure, economic cooperation, and collaboration.

These topics were identified as pivotal to complementing the national economic development agenda.

“The meeting with them was at my invitation and of Chief Emeka Anyaoku before their summit begins.

“The issue of Nnamdi Kanu was not on the agenda and was not discussed in my presence,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying.

The South East Governors’ Forum had resolved to engage with key national figures, including President Bola Tinubu, to advocate for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Meteor Nigeria had reported the meeting but also highlighted that the former president paid a solidarity visit to the governors.

The Governor of Imo State and Chairman of the Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma, had emphasised the forum’s commitment to addressing both regional security concerns and economic integration.

He stated, “The Forum resolved to visit Mr. President to discuss all pressing issues concerning the South East region.

“The Forum also deliberated and resolved to interface with the Federal Government to secure the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”

During the meeting, the governors also established a burial committee for the late Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Minister of Science and Technology.

This committee, headed by Former Senate President Pius Anyim, includes prominent figures like Chibuike Amaechi, former Governor of Rivers State, serving as Secretary, and other leaders from Igbo-speaking states.

Reflecting on their discussions, Senator Uzodinma highlighted, “We deliberated on the outcomes of the South East Security and Economic Summit held in Owerri and have committed to implementing actionable plans on security and economic integration.

“The Forum received a delegation of the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and His Royal Majesty Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, who came on a solidarity visit to this Forum.

“The Forum deliberated on the reviewed report of the South East security and economic summit held in Owerri Imo state on the 28 September 2023 and agreed to implement the aspect of the report about security and economic integration of the South East region and affirmed its desire to put actionable plan on the key issues agreed.”

The meeting had all the governors of the region in attendance.

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State was the host governor who received all the other governors: Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State and Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu gained prominence as a vocal advocate for Biafran independence, leveraging social media and international platforms to amplify his message.

His leadership of IPOB galvanised support among some segments of the population in the South East.

In 2015, Nnamdi Kanu was arrested on charges of treasonable felony and terrorism-related offences.

His detention sparked protests and occasional violence in the region, as supporters demanded his release and condemned what they perceived as unfair treatment by the government.

Kanu’s trial has been fraught with legal battles and controversies, including allegations of human rights abuses and irregularities in the judicial process.

The case has heightened tensions and occasionally led to clashes between security forces and IPOB supporters, resulting in casualties and exacerbating the security challenges in the region.

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