Friday, 16 December 2016

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Biafra: Kalu initiates peace move, visits Kanu in prison

Worried by the growing tension in the South-East, occasioned by the continuous detention of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, eminent businessman and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday visited him at Kuje Prisons in Abuja.

The move, according to the former governor, was to broker peace between the Federal Government and the IPOB leader in order to douse the tension in Igboland and the country in general.
Kalu, who arrived the prisons at 12pm, told newsmen after meeting Kanu for over an hour said, as a former governor of Abia State, it was his duty to protect his people and their interests.
He revealed that his discussion with the detained IPOB leader was fruitful and added that he was able to secure his approval to speak on his behalf.
Kalu said: “My visit to Kanu is in compliance with the United Nations Charter on Human Rights. It means anyone who is in prison should be
visited and frequently so.
“I decided to come and visit him, as a younger brother.  Once you had been a governor, you have a duty to always protect your people. I came to plead with him to talk to his supporters. I think they will have a change of attitude”.
The former governor also said that a peace deal and out-of-court settlement with the Federal Government were still possible, which he said, could be explored by both parties.
“It is possible that with this discussion, we will find an interface
between the Federal Government and Kanu. It is a possibility. We are all Nigerians. If both himself and the Federal Government are genuinely interested, we can achieve a common ground.
“I am a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and it is my duty to work in the interest of the government and also that of my people. We are not leaving anything to chance.”
Speaking on Kanu’s ongoing court trial, Kalu said: “The protection of witnesses is nothing new in law. We can do that, but when we get to that stage, we will talk to each other better. It is possible to
settle out of court, if both parties are sincere.”
He spoke further: “He (Kanu) has given me the go-ahead to talk on his behalf. And if I can speak on his behalf, then the process will begin and if things work as they ought to, we might not get to the stage of having to require protection of witnesses.
“If he trusts me and the Federal Government trusts me, I do not see how this will not work. I know the government well. I am a member of
the ruling party. So, I can use my position well to make this work”.
Kalu is the first and only prominent Igbo leader to have visited the IPOB leader in prison.
However, this is not the first time he was visiting a high profile detainee. As sitting governor, he visited the former Chief Security
Officer (CSO) of General Sani Abacha, Hamzat Al-Mustapha in Kirikiri Prison.
All of this, according to him, is in line with his philosophy of unity, peace and progress of Nigeria, a nation where people are free to express their rights without breaking up the country.

Source: Sun

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