Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
Elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has said that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, showed a disposition for amicable resolution of issues concerning the agitation for Biafra during the meeting he held with South-East governors in Enugu on August 30.
Reacting to recent developments, Nwabueze, in a statement he made available to journalists in Enugu on Monday, recalled what transpired at the August 30 meeting between Kanu and the governors.
Nwabueze said, “On 30th August, 2017, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko and I met with the South-East Governors Forum.
“The meeting was chaired by the current Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, who, in his conduct of the meeting, exhibited his characteristic sagacity, candour and forthrightness, tempered with friendliness.
“Perhaps charmed by the things said by the chairman and the way he conducted the meeting, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on his part, showed an accommodating disposition for an amicable resolution of the crisis and more specifically a disposition to reconsider the threat to stop or disrupt the 2019 elections and the Anambra State governorship election on November 18, 2017, but emphasized that the decision did not lie with him alone and that the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra must be carried along.
“Accordingly, it agreed to meet with the leadership of IPOB in order to try to secure their agreement and support. Regrettably, while the follow-up meeting was being arranged, the attack on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s home in Umuahia by soldiers of the Nigerian Army on September 10, 2017, occurred as reported in the news media, which, expectedly, triggered clashes between the IPOB supporters and the Army in Aba, Umuahia and other places, resulting in the death of, or injury to, several people.”
Reacting to this sad development, the IPOB leadership indicated its intention not to attend the planned meeting.
“Despite all this, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu made it known that, in the spirit of a search for amicable resolution of the crisis, he would still attend the planned meeting, now fixed for Friday, September 15, 2017.
“However, a day or so before that date, another attack on his Umuahia residence by soldiers, armed with guns and armoured vehicles, was reported in the media, which caused Nnamdi Kanu to renounce his intention to attend the planned meeting.
“It seems unreasonable and unfeeling to expect him to attend the meeting when the casualties included two of his cousins.”
He said he had arrived in Enugu from Lagos for the meeting on Thursday 15 September but without the IPOB leadership, especially Nnamdi Kanu, he felt the purpose of the meeting had been defeated and had to go back to Lagos.
Nwabueze urged the governors to reconvene the meeting with Kanu at a future date.
“The meeting should be reconvened when the tension caused by these developments had quietened down,” the elder statesman said.