The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, blamed the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for the travails of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Umahi, who featured in a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, said Ohanaeze was delaying the political solution to the case of Kanu who was standing trial for an alleged treasonable felony at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Leaders from the South-East, including the members of the National Assembly from the region, had last year identified a political solution to the activist’s case.
They resolved to meet President Muhammadu Buhari and present a common approach to him on the matter.
However, the governor’s remark has fuelled insinuation of possible cracks among South-East leaders in their quest to secure the IPOB leader’s release from detention.
President Buhari had earlier on Friday told traditional rulers and religious leaders who urged him to consider an unconditional release for Kanu that the Federal Government would allow the activist trial to run its full course.
In his response, the governor slammed the Ohanaeze for failing to check IPOB, a development that led to the escalation of the current insecurity in the region.
Umahi said: “The court judgement is not far from the political solution. I have never supported IPOB and predicted the current events. It is now a pain for everyone due to the silence of politicians.
“I urged the Ohanaeze to appeal to IPOB but they were not quick to react. We should encourage Ohanaeze to appeal to IPOB as suggested by President Buhari.”
The governor also knocked other regions in the Southern part of the country for refusing to concede the presidency to the South-East.
He added: “It is expected that based on the justice, the three Southern regions should ensure that the South-East gets the slot but that is not happening.
“It seems the South-West want to streamline the number of aspirants but I don’t think they are ready to concede to the South-East. There is no basis for zoning if the South-East is schemed out of contention. There is no fairness in that respect and the race might as well be thrown wide open. We cannot be used to drag the presidency to the South only to be short-changed.
“The consequences might be unpleasant if the presidency isn’t zoned to the South-East due to the absence of equity and fairness.”
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