Military siege truncated Southeast Governors, IPOB peace talks, says Nwabueze
Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, yesterday said the military’s invasion of the home of Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, truncated the peace process being navigated by the governor of Southeast states and IPOB agitators.
He explained in a statement made available to The Guardian that although he had traveled to Enugu last Thursday preparatory to the follow up meeting with the IPOB leader and the Southeast governors, the attack and killing of Nnamdi Kanu’s cousins, made it impossible for the IPOB leader to attend the meeting.
He recalled how on August 30, 2017 he had in the company of Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu Uko and Kanu met with the Southeast Governors Forum, stressing that the meeting, which was chaired by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, was conducted in a friendly atmosphere.
Nwabueze disclosed that Kanu was charmed by what Umahi said and the way he conducted the meeting, that he “showed an accommodating disposition for an amicable resolution of the crisis, and more specifically a disposition to reconsider the threat to stop the 2019 elections and the Anambra State governorship election.”
He pointed out that a follow up meeting was agreed with the leadership of IPOB to try to secure their agreement and support, but regretted that “while the follow-up meeting was being arranged, the attack on Kanu’s home in Umuahia by soldiers of the Nigerian Army on September 10, 2017 was carried out.”
He added that the attack, which “expectedly, triggered clashes between the IPOB supporters and the Army in Aba, Umuahia and other places, resulted in the death of, or injury to, several people.”
He said the IPOB leadership indicated its intention not to attend the planned meeting as a result. “Despite all this, Kanu made it known that, in the spirit of a search for amicable resolution of the crisis; he personally would still attend the planned meeting, which was scheduled for yesterday.
“However, a day or so before that date, another attack on his Umuahia residence by soldiers, armed with guns and armoured vehicles, involving serious causalities, was reported in the media, which caused Kanu to renounce his intention to attend the meeting, even despite all the provocation that led to its repudiation by the IPOB leadership,” he explained.
While stressing that it seems unreasonable and unfeeling to expect Kanu to attend the meeting when the causalities included two of his cousins, Nwabueze stated: “I had arrived Enugu from Lagos for the meeting on Thursday. But without the IPOB leadership, especially Kanu, it seems to me that the essential purpose of the meeting had been defeated.”
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