Christian Aburime, the Press Secretary to the Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has insisted that the call for the unconditional release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was not politically motivated.
Aburime stated that Soludo’s call for Kanu’s release was borne out of a genuine decision and desire to remove the lingering insecurity in the South-East.
Soludo had during a campaign rally of the All Progressives Grand Alliance some days back called for the unconditional release of the IPOB leader. The governor said he was ready to stand as surety for him.
His comments have generated wild reactions from the people of the South-East who are insinuating that the governor made the call for political reasons as elections are around the corner.
But in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Aburime said the governor called for Kanu’s release because he had observed that the IPOB leader needed to speak to the people of the South-East in order to douse the insecurity in the region.
He expressed worry that the people have attached the wrong motives and political meaning to the “genuine” call made by the governor.
He also clarified that Soludo did not consult with other South-East governors concerning the situation as he spoke in his capacity as the governor of Anambra State.
He said the governor observed that insecurity in the region has continued to worsen since the detention of the IPOB leader.
On why Labour Party campaign billboards were pulled down, Aburi insisted that the LP defaulted in payment which made the signage agency pull down their signboards.
He said, “The call for the release of Kanu by Soludo is borne out of genuine desire and intention to remove insecurity from the South-East. You will recall that insecurity has been a major problem in the region since Kanu was detained.
“You will observe that people have been dying every day and you hear about killings here and there in the region. The governor, with the help of President Muhammadu Buhari, has deployed what is called a kinetic approach to fighting the insecurity in the region. But he (Soludo) found out that it is about time to also adopt the non-kinetic approach, which is to bring the critical stakeholders, like Kanu, around the table and discuss the issue of insecurity with a view to finding a permanent solution.
“And he is now saying that Kanu should be released to be part of the people that should be called to the roundtable to have a discussion on insecurity and the governor is saying that the Federal Government should release him unconditionally so he can speak to the people of the South-East.
“And if he cannot be released unconditionally, the governor said he is willing to stand as his surety. That is a genuine call, it has nothing to do with political motives or selfish interest. It is a genuine call intended to bring sustainable peace to the region.
“Soludo recognised the fact that the court has set Kanu free and he said if the federal government cannot release him unconditionally due to some considerations, he is willing to offer himself as surety and to provide him anytime the Federal Government wants him.
“I cannot say if the governor is planning to consult or meet with other South-East governors concerning the issue of Kanu, but what I can say is that the letter to the AGF is ready and will be delivered to him any moment from now.
“On the issue of campaign billboards, nobody pulled down any billboard for political reasons, what happened was that the LP defaulted in payment and the signage agency of Anambra went after the billboards that they did not pay for. The campaign billboards of APC or PDP were not removed, because they followed the due process.”