In a closed-door meeting that stretched over several hours, former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo engaged with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, focusing on critical issues such as the release of detained IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and the prevailing insecurity in the South-East region.
The meeting, hosted at Obasanjo’s Owerri residence in Imo State, saw discussions between the former president and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President of Ohanaeze. Chief Okey Emuchay, the Secretary-General of the Igbo socio-cultural organization, highlighted the meeting’s significance, terming it “very symbolic and crucial,” with fruitful deliberations on topics of mutual interest.
A statement released on Saturday by Emuchay revealed that the former President delved into issues impacting the region, and the outcomes of the discussions are anticipated to manifest positively for the Igbo community.
Emuchay’s statement read, “Our president-general informed Chief Obasanjo that Nigeria should erect monuments in his (Obasanjo’s) name for the sacrifices he has made. He recalled Obasanjo’s role in ending the civil war with the slogan ‘no victor, no vanquished.’ Iwuanyanwu lauded Obasanjo’s patriotic and diplomatic initiatives as president that resulted in the country’s debt cancellation and his administration’s rejuvenation of the economy.”
The Secretary-General expressed assurance that the Igbo people would recognize Obasanjo’s contributions appropriately at the right time.
A source present at the meeting disclosed to our correspondent that the release of Nnamdi Kanu and concerns about the region’s security were thoroughly discussed. The source, a member of Ohanaeze’s executive, stated, “After deliberations on some matters of mutual interest, the leaders of Ohanaeze, in their wisdom, brought up Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s matter. He is our son. We will not deny him. Obasanjo and Ohanaeze discussed the matter thoroughly, and assurances were given.”
The visit by Obasanjo also included the presence of the Asiwaju of Owo Kingdom, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, and other prominent figures, including former Minister for Aviation, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of Methodist Church Nigeria, Chief Fidelis Ozichukwu, and Chief Tony Ukasanya.
Iwuanyanwu, a consistent advocate against the alleged marginalization of the region, has persistently called for Kanu’s unconditional release. The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, announced Kanu’s arrest and extradition from Kenya on June 29, 2021, leading to his ongoing trial on charges of treasonable felony.