Quest to free IPOB leader, Kanu gathers momentum, as Peter Obi insists no reason for Kanu to remain in detention

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate of in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, has tasked President Bola Tinubu on the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and other freedom fighters in detention.

Obi insisted that there was no reason for the continuous detention of the IPOB leader, especially as the courts of the land have freed him.

PUNCH reports that the former Anambra State Governor made this call when he spoke to journalists on Saturday, in Onitsha, Anambra State, while also calling on leaders to double their efforts in tackling insecurity, saying that if nothing was done, the country might slide into a failed nation.

Obi, who also spoke on other issues, said, “I don’t see any reason for his continuous detention, especially as the courts have granted him bail. The government must obey the court.

“The rule of law is an intricate asset that we must cherish and live with. I use this opportunity to plead with the Federal Government to ensure that all those who are in similar conditions are released and discussed.

“We are in a democracy, and we should not be doing things that are arbitrary and not within the law.”

He lamented the increasing insecurity in the country, saying that Nigeria was gradually becoming a failed state if nothing was done urgently to salvage the situation.

He said, “The primary work of government is the security of lives and property. It is the foundation on which people can live in any nation because no one can stay in an insecure place.

“It is worrisome what is happening in Nigeria with the news of killings, abductions, and other vices that have made Nigeria one of the most insecure places on the earth. In fact, it is leading to a failed nation.

“I commend the government for their efforts so far, but there is a need to do more, and all leaders must come together to join hands and fight this. In the South-East, there is a need for the governors to come together to be able to tackle it.

“Even in economic agenda, I want to see the South-East governors work closely more. We want to see them come together and also bring together other groups in the zone.”

Obi expressed displeasure on the ongoing protests in Kenya, saying that the destruction of the government’s assets and property brings setbacks to any country.

“I am against riots or destruction of government assets and property because it is still scarce resources that we are going to use to repair them, but I’m not against peaceful protests.

“Peaceful protest is allowed, but it must be for a reason and not the personal interest of some people to satisfy a particular interest. It must be properly articulated and properly directed.

“I recall when people said they were protesting police brutality, and I said to them, no, let’s rather deal with the leadership. If we have good leaders, their agents can’t be bad. The problem is leadership. If the leaders are competent, have the capacity and do the right thing, their agents will follow their examples.

“I want to use this opportunity to say that all those who are being held because of one protest or the other should be released. Whether it is freedom fighters, EndSARS protesters, or even because of freedom of speech, be it journalists, let them all be released immediately.

“We are in a democratic country, and people have the right under the constitution to express themselves freely. They also have the right to peacefully protest, and we must listen to them. We must listen to those who say they are not happy, that is why it is a democratic nation. We should stop acting dictatorial and behave as if this is not a democratic country,” he added.

On whether there are plans for him to join other politicians to form a mega party to oust the All Progressives Congress, Obi said he had no such plans.

He said, “I will rather say that I am more particular on how the poor Nigerians can feed. I would rather talk about things that are affecting Nigerians today. We politicians are preoccupied with elections, and that is not what I am after. I am talking about how we reduce the price of food.

“Our people are dying of hunger, how do we make life more conducive for the poor Nigerian, how do we make our people earn more money, how do we pull people out of poverty? That should be our concern, and not forming a mega party.

“But if forming a mega party is to be able to provide all these things I have illustrated, then I am all for it. But if it is for state capture, so that politicians can take power and continue with the consumption, consumption, consumption, that we are seeing today, I will say no. But if it is to move the country to production, production, production, then I will say yes.”

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