Mr Israel Kanu, the father of the pro-Biafra activist, Nnamdi Kanu, has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerians over the release of his son.
The elder Kanu is the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Ibeku Autonomous Community, Umuahia.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Umuahia that he was grateful to “well-meaning Nigerians for their prayers and support’’ during Nnamdi’s incarceration.
He added that he was amazed by the goodwill and show of solidarity by Nigerians, especially the pro-Biafra groups, which, he said, “stood by us for the period my son was detained.’’
He said that he was particularly grateful to God that the court acquitted his son of all the charges, including treasonable felony, brought against him.
“My family and the entire people of Afara Ukwu are happy over the release of our son and we shall continue to thank God and Nigerians for this happy event,’’ Kanu said.
The traditional ruler commended the judiciary for proving to be the hope of the common man, saying, “the judiciary applied wisdom in discharging and acquitting my son.’
He called on the pro-Biafra groups to go about their agitation peacefully and without confrontation to the government.
In a related development, Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) also hailed the president ‘for listening to the pleas of Ndigbo and progressive Nigerians.’
In a statement made available to NAN, OYC said that Kanu’s release had doused the tension generated by his detention, adding that the development had spared Nigeria of another security challenge.
The statement was signed by the National President and Secretary of the organisation, Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Nnabuike Okwu respectively.
It said that Kanu’s release would go a long way to restore the confidence of Ndigbo in Buhari’s Administration.
“Having released Kanu, the Federal Government should go further and address all the other grievances of the pro-Biafra agitators,’’ the statement said.
According to OYC, the agitators were only protesting against the marginalisation and injustices being meted against Ndigbo.
It cited the poor state of federal roads in the South- East, abandonment of the Enugu coal mine for over 43 years, non-inclusion of Abia and Imo youths in the Niger Delta Amnesty deal, among others as instances of marginalization of Ndigbo.
On his part, the Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Uchenna Madu, described the release of its leader as ‘triumph over injustice, suppression, oppression and subjugation of IPOB.’
NAN reports that the IPOB leader was arrested and detained for allegedly running Radio Biafra, an offence considered treasonable. (NAN)