The South-East Forum has demanded that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government release the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to the Igbo elders.
This was one of the resolutions reached in Enugu by the forum which is made up of elders from five states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
Convener of the forum, Dr. Dozie Ikedife made the disclosure to newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State.
He disclosed that the elders resolved that if the Federal Government could release Kanu and other detainees to them, they would take up the responsibility to advise them as elders.
Ikedife maintained that the elders saw it as justice denied holding Kanu and others in detention without either releasing them or giving them speedy trial.
He, however insisted that there was nothing wrong for somebody to ask for his rights.
“The forum is of the view that nothing happens without nothing.
“They have the view that the agitators have the right to protest because of relative exclusion in the decision-making circle of Nigeria.
“For instance, in the Council of States, there is no single representation from the South East.
“And the agitators feel that if you look at the allocation of patronages, amenities and development, they are getting shares not equal to what others in the country are getting or commensurate with their contributions to national development.
“For example, in the federal allocation for road maintenance in the nation, the South East and South South are the least, yet, the federal roads in these areas are among the worst.
“These roads are not maintained, not to talk of constructing or opening up a new one. People of these zones are not comfortable about it and we have the feeling that, if you reject somebody in a dance group, you should allow him go away with his dancing paraphernalia.
“You cannot beat a child and ask him not to cry”, he added.
Ikedife further claimed that there was no relationship between the elders forum and Nnamdi Kanu “except that the forum feels that the time has come either to release him or those holding him to expedite action and legal process that will lead to his release because justice delayed is justice denied.
“Therefore we call for his release, even if it is to the elders. It is not just Kanu, we are talking about others who are in that comparable circumstance. Let them regain their freedom. Keeping them in detention for that long is unfair.”