Leaders of Southern Nigeria, under the auspices of Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) has implored President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the rule of law and order the immediate release of those in detention, including Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu, in compliance with pronouncements of courts of competent jurisdiction.
The leaders also said that in order for the principles of separation of powers to be applied to advance democracy, the Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB) and similar non-violent bodies should be treated fairly and given opportunity if hearing.
SNPA made these pronouncements in Asaba during its meeting which held at Best Western Elemaz Hotel.
The meeting, attended by the State Governor (represented), was chaired by former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, who was also represented by a former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
Other leaders who were at the meeting include co-chair and leader of South-South, Senator Rowland Owie, Bishop Emmanuel Gbonigi, co-chair and leader of the South West, represented by Senator Femi Okurounmu.
The SNPA, which deliberated on the security, socio-political and economic situations of the country, persistent killing of Nigerians by Fulanis, and issues bordering on establishment of grazing reserves in parts of the country.
In its first resolution, the group said: “We urge him(Buhari) to respect the rule of law, the protection of citizens fundamental human rights and the pronouncements of courts of competent jurisdiction. The president should note that the war on corruption should neither be vindictive nor selective.
“We call on President Buhari to ensure immediate release of all Nigerians which various courts have given bail and have subsequently met their bail conditions. IPOB and other similar non-violent bodies should be treated fairly and given opportunity to be heard.
“The president should commence the implementation of the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference to resolve the continuing contradictions in the Nigerian polity and to lay solid foundation for more just and equitable Nigerian society.”
The leaders also urged Northern elders to stop infusing the ‘we and they’ mentality in the present government ‘which usually create division and confusion in the polity’. “The Northern Elders Forum should realize that President Buhari is the president of Nigeria, and not just of northern Nigeria. The government is therefore for the entire Nigeria and programmes and projects should be for the overall development and growth of the country and not a section of it”.
On the increasing killings by Fulani cattle rearers, the leaders said that “the president should deal decisively the with the issue of Fulani herdsmen to avoid it snowballing into another Boko Haram. Consequently, he should commission a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate all Fulani attack since May 2015 and make the perpetrators face the wrath of the law”.
The group thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who hosted them in the Delta State capital city.