PISE-P Lobbies Nigerian Government for Nnamdi Kanu’s Release, says Ben Kalu

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Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, Deputy Speaker of Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives, revealed on Monday that efforts are underway to secure the release of Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.

Kalu noted that while the court processes are ongoing, political solutions are in progress as well.

According to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Levinus Nwabughiogu, Kalu was quoted as saying at the special edition of “The Ben Kalu’s Mandate,” a radio programme of FLO FM, Umuahia, Abia State, that it was deliberate to work behind the scenes to secure Kanu’s release.

The Deputy Speaker’s disclosure came on the heels of an inquiry by the programme anchor, Wisdom Thomas if the Peace In South East Project, a recently launched initiative of the Deputy Speaker which calls for a non kinetic measure to resolve the security challenges in the South East has abandoned the IPOB leader.

Kalu said: “The Peace in South East Project has reconciliation in the mix of what we are trying to achieve. We recognize the importance of our brother, Nnamdi Kanu in the peace agenda we are pushing. That’s the truth. And I have been very vocal about it. I am not hiding it.

“I have always told people that I will never deny Nnamdi Kanu. He’s my brother. We come from the same place, and I will never be satisfied with him being incarcerated when we can have him released and continue our pursuit of peace. But we may not advance all the things we are doing but I can assure you that all the powers-that-be in this country know that people like us are not sitting on the fence. I don’t know about the next person but I am talking about Benjamin Kalu. I am not sitting on the fence about it. I am lobbying.

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

“We cannot go about this before the court. I am more interested in using a political solution towards resolving this. So, I am asking for one or two things from the Federal Government.”

He continued, “The last time I was with Mr President, I discussed with him the need for the elders of Igbo land to come, sit and engage with him. And I know that one of the topics that will come up there is our brother and the South East Development Commission.

“I will not truncate legal processes but some of us are not afraid to identify with him and to ask for him to be released. Any other thing can follow up after that. So, that is what is going on at the moment and those who are close to him will assure you that we are working closely on this mandate. Is it achievable? The answer is yes

“And I am happy with the statement that he (Kanu) made the last time he was in court. He said all those who are causing violence are not IPOB people, that anybody who is using his name to be causing violence is a hater of Ndi Igbo.

“Look, Igbos are not known for violence. We are known for trade, being creative. Call it Nollywood, we are the engine room that started the creative industry. We are not known for theft or violence. We put our energy towards creating wealth. We are not life killers and anybody coming now to introduce what is strange to us, it’s either the person is not an Igbo man or we should question where he is coming from.”

He further reminded the Igbo ethnic nationality that “As we are asking Mr President to release Nnamdi Kanu for us and giving us South East Development Commission, we must on the other show him loyalty by making sure that there is peace in our area. No violence, support his government.”

RT. Hon. Ben Kalu, House of Rep.Deputy Speaker
RT. Hon. Ben Kalu, House of Rep.Deputy Speaker

Speaking on the present state of the South East Development Commission Bill, Kalu said that the proposed legislation is at the conference committee stage where some issues regarding the confirmation of the commissioners are being resolved.

“The South East Development Commission Bill is before the Senate at the moment and it has gone through third reading. What is happening at the moment is what we call the conference committee that will go through the bill and find out areas of divergence and convergence on only one clause that they want to amend and that clause has to do with the appointment of the commissioners to be confirmed only by the Senate and not the National Assembly involving the House of Representatives like we have drafted it.

“It’s a minor issue which the House will be willing to let go. So, that is the only thing that is remaining and I am sure by the time we resume, the committee that has been formed to look at the issue and the conference committee will tender their report

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