Ndigbo will not disown Kanu, says group
• Counsel warns against molestation of IPOB leader’s supporters
• Says nothing significant will happen at hearing today
As the trial of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, continues today, an Igbo socio-cultural group, Ndigbo United Forum (NUF), said that Ndigbo would never for any reason disown or distance themselves from him.
The NUF, which described Kanu as “a courageous Igbo son,” said the group would continue to stand by him regardless of his challenges, stressing that the situation placed on Igbo by the administration of the country created his agitations.
A statement by the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman of the group, Chief Chinedu Mba, said that Kanu should be applauded by all, especially the Igbo, for rising up against injustice.
He said: “It is abundantly clear that the position of Ndigbo in Nigeria has been very dicey. It became very provocatively glaring under Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. All objectively collated indicators point to a deliberate attempt to shortchange Ndigbo regardless of our immeasurable contributions to Nigeria’s national growth and development.
“Nigeria is made up of three major ethnic groups – Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Of these three ethnic groups, Ndigbo are the most spread in Nigeria. Igbo are well represented in the Western and Northern Nigeria. Anyone claiming that Ndigbo don’t believe in Nigeria, must be either a mischievous person or a pathological liar. Ndigbo believes in Nigeria’s corporate existence far more than every other ethnic group in Nigeria. Our non-discriminatory socio-economic spread beyond our geographic location is a towering testament to that effect. How can we not believe in Nigeria when we are doggedly developing the entirety of Nigeria?”
Mba, who urged lovers of justice to rise up in defence of Kanu in his trying moments, said: “His continuous incarceration is an assault to international human rights, and an injury to one, is an injury to all. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. All Igbo groups, individuals, leaders and elite must rally behind Nnamdi Kanu,” he said.
MEANWHILE, counsel to Kanu, Aloy Ejimakor, yesterday, urged the security agents not to molest or harass the IPOB leader’s supporters who will be coming to Abuja to show solidarity with him today at the court scheduled to hear his pending matter.
Ejimakor made the appeal in a statement he sent to The Guardian stating that the release was “prompted by media reports indicating that those coming to Abuja to show solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu would be harassed or even arrested by security agents.”
He, however, said that while he was not calling on people or Kanu’s supporters to throng Abuja for the hearing today (Monday, July 26), it would be important to state that anybody who wishes to come is not doing anything illegal, provided such person comes in peace.
He also pointed out that since Kanu’s trial is not a secret but open one and thus ought to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, said “anybody wishing to be associated with his trial by being present in Abuja is protected by constitutional right to freedom of association and movement.”