The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) claimed on Sunday saboteurs within its ranks prevailed on President Muhammadu Buhari not to release its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Buhari had last week asked the IPOB leader to defend himself on the charges of treasonable felony and others in court.
The President, who stated this in a chat with Channels Television, said his administration had been very fair to Kanu by giving him the chance to defend himself for insulting the government while he was staying outside the country.
President Buhari had last year promised to look into South-East leaders’ request for the unconditional release of the activist who was brought back to the country by security agents on June 27 last year.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB claimed that the so-called saboteurs held a meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, and advised him not to release Kanu.
The group urged the President not to be deceived by some of its sacked members feeding him with fake information about its activities for pecuniary gains.
The statement read: “Our intelligence captured what transpired in a meeting between these saboteurs and the President in Aso Rock. In the meeting, these traitors concluded with the Presidency that Kanu should not be released, claiming erroneously though, that IPOB and ESN have been defeated which are lies.
“Our attention has also been drawn to the statement by President Buhari that he will not release our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We know that this new posture by Buhari after he had earlier promised a delegation of Igbo leaders that he would look at their appeal to consider a political solution for Kanu, was not unconnected with the visit by some foreign-based traitors and enemies of our struggle.
“But we want to tell Buhari that he is going to make a mistake capable of consuming Nigeria should he fail to release Kanu because these bunch of criminals he had a meeting with were not giving him correct information about IPOB and ESN outfit.
“Why should the Federal Government be releasing bandits and terrorists wreaking havoc across the country but fail to release freedom seekers? If they have a case against him let them come straight to the court and stop coming from the backdoor.”
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