S'East Governors Meet With Nwabueze, Nnamdi Kanu...
Resolve to have further dialogue with IPOB
Governors of the South-east geopolitical states rose from a closed-door meeting with the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in Enugu yesterday, vowing to engage the pro-Biafran group in “further meetings and dialogue”in order to resolve their issues amicably.
The meeting also had renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN), and Elliot Uko of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) in attendance.
The meeting which took place at the Government House, Enugu, had Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Chairman of the South-east Governor’s Forum, as well as Dr Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra State, who represented Governor Willie Obiano in attendance.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, were said to be out of the country.
In a three-paragraph communique read to journalists at the end of the meeting by Umahi, the governors said they deliberated on the demands of IPOB and noted their concerns accordingly.
They however agreed that the demands being made by IPOB would not be absolute, pledging to engage Kanu and the entire leadership of his group to further meetings with a view to quickening the resolutions of all issues.
The trio of Kanu, Nwabueze and Uko did not speak with journalists as they simply walked away after the meeting as the governors went back to continue with their meeting.
Though not contained in their communique, sources told THISDAY that the meeting also looked into the reported plans by the federal government to get the court to revoke his bail conditions in order to facilitate his re-arrest. They were said not to have taken a position on the matter.
Several groups, including the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Igbo Leaders of Thought, have all expressed their opposition to any attempt to re-arrest Kanu.
The governors later went into another closed door meeting with the leadership of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by the President General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
Other notable Igbo leaders at the meeting include former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Chukwuma Soludo, former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Chigozie Ogbu and other members of the Ohanaeze economic team.
They however did not brief journalists at the end of meeting as Governor Umahi disclosed that the Director General of the Forum, Prof Simon Ortuanya, would handle the briefing.