Only last week the entire media was awashed with reports of the visit of our respected and prominent Igbo fathers and leaders of thought to President Buhari at the villa on the release of the IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (Agunechemba). This is a good step in the right direction. My joy knows no bound as the meeting was devoid of any political or partisan connotation or semblance as usual.
I’m constrained to make a few interventions because the subject matter is subjudiced. However, I will make my commentaries as a public affairs analyst and a Pan-Nigerian.
Most profoundly, I salute Dr. Chris Ngige, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Okwadike Chukwuemeka Ezeife and others for their immense role to initiate, broker and facilitate the visit to PMB. I commend their clear demonstration and show of solidarity, brotherhood and fraternity.
Our President deserves all the applauds for towing the pathway for political solution as he expressed his concerns to consider the plea of our Igbo leaders to release our brother and son Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Moving forward, this is a good move towards consolidating national unity, healing and reconciliation. We are hopeful that this approach will lead to the closure of this issue if followed through to the end.
It is very imperative to note that under our constitutional jurisprudence, the executive (President/AGF) enjoys enormous rights and unfettered discretion in determining such matters. I’m yet guided by how former President Yar’adua with the solomoniac masterstroke treated the Henry Okah’s(leader of MEND) case that introduced the Presidential Amnesty program in 2009 that is still being flexed in the Niger Delta region till tomorrow. This precedence sufficiently speaks volume of the instant case under recourse.
The palpable fears and argument that Mr. President’s fatherly intervention will have damning implications on the principle of separation of power and as such impune on the judiciary doesn’t hold water. It’s neither here or there.
S. 175 of the CFRN 1999 (as altered) gives the President the power to exercise the prerogative of mercy, he can pardon any Nigerian offender.
Also by S. 174 of the CFRN, the state has the power of Nolle Prosequi through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to withdraw the charges of “sedition” in this case, discontinue any prosecution at any stage in the National interest especially in this context in exchange for peaceful conduct. I believe the President understands what is best for the country.
The South East is in turmoil economically, politically and security wise as I write now.
Despite all happenings, the Anambra election proved that the Igbo Nation are a peaceful, resolute and forthright people. I know PMB wants to leave a legacy of peace, security and democratic consolidation.
Moreso, there cannot be a meaningful or sustainable peace without justice. We know that the search for peace has no barrier. The Igbo Nation has always sought to be treated fairly, equitably and in a justifiable way in the context of national development, distribution of state resources and state control. I believe Igbos want a Nigeria that is equitable, fair and justiciable, so that we don’t feel marginalized.
Take for instance the over militarisation of the South East and the Heavy presence of security on South East roads. This has brought about lots of killing by “Known and Unknown gunmen”. Though we are not against security but the security agencies should be professional and act according to the rules of engagement so as not to do anything that could lead to confrontation between them and youths in the region.
There cannot be a meaningful or sustainable peace without justice
The Federal government needs to ensure the completion of the Second Niger Bridge, completion of the Enugu-Okigwe-Umuahia road, Setting up functional ports in the region, rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, completion of the Zik’s Mausoleum (a world tourist site) and every other abandoned Federal projects and ultimately restructure Nigeria.
Our brother Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the South East leaders can be trusted so long as peace, justice and equity are genuinely deployed in the healing process. Continuous negotiations, discussions and physical impacts cannot be undermined. Two wrongs cannot make a right.
On the flip side, it is very cheering to eulogize the President for making some quick institutional gains and reforms in the right direction as part of his electioneering promises. Such as the now settled introduction of electronic transmission of results of election making for cleaner elections as overtly manifested in the last Anambra election; the possibility of direct primaries for the election of parry candidates to return power to the people particularly young people and the increasing progress in the fight against banditry and terrorism.
Other gains include the Executive orders for the Presidential initiative for judicial and legislative autonomy at the State levels to ensure separation of powers, accountability and democratic consolidation and the Presidential initiative for Autonomy of state legislatures, local government autonomy and community policing. The passing and implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act is worthy of commendation.
Our dear President needs all the encouragement and support he can get in this direction knowing fully well that no President can solve all a nation’s problem in tenure, thus if these minimum and much more are achieved, it would be a new beginning for this great Nation.
…We are all Nigerians and Biafrans..