ENUGU—In a bid to buttress the need for spiritual intervention following Federal Government’s refusal to heed three subsisting Federal High Court orders granting detained Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu, bail, Archbishop of Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra States Ecclesiastical Province, Rt. Rev. Emmanel Chukwuma, yesterday, cautioned the Federal Government to tread softly on the issue given Niger Delta militants’ threat to blow up more crude oil installations if Kanu was not released.
The Niger Delta militants had a fortnight ago, warned the Federal Government to release the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB’s leader who is being detained by the Department of State Services, DSS, on alleged treason charges or risk destruction of crude oil installations,a threat they have made good so far.
This is even as journalists made frantic efforts to hold back tears that flowed freely as the cleric lamented that Igbo Senators and House of Representatives members who served as Senate Committee Chairmen on Works in both chambers and that of Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, under immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan were busy buying private helicopters to fly across the ”death traps” in form of roads dotting the south-east geo-political zone while scores of people perished on account of the deplorable condition of the roads.
The Anglican cleric, while addressing newsmen at Bishop’s Court in Enugu yesterday, revealed that the clergy are in prayers for God’s intervention to touch President Muhammad Buhari’s heart to release Kanu, adding that an escalated militancy on oil installations will be worse than Boko-Haram.
According to Chukwuma, ”People are saying Igbo do not have a leader. I can stand in for his release as a church leader. We do not believe in confrontation. Rather, everthing should be done through dialogue. Igbo do not have somebody to vouch and also stand and defend the course of Ndigbo. We believe very much in dialogue. We do not support violence. We believe that with dialogue, patience, understanding and listening ear of Buhari, there will be an understanding with which everything concerning the Igbo will be cleared.
“There are insinuations that Igbo have negative feeling against Buhari-APC-led government. There is nothing like that. We very much support Mr President, his anti-corruption crusade and all he is doing to make sure that stolen money is recovered. We equally believe that when this money is recovered, the south-east geopolitical zone will not be left out in the structural development of their area especially in roads, power supply, job opportunity among others.
“We believe that if we work together with the federal government,Nigeria will be salvaged. It is important that government implements last year national conference decisions. That will be of great help to us. South-East geopolitical zone is the most marginalized nationwide. We have been talking about an additional state. It’s part of the problem we are facing. The religious leaders are standing firm in prayers for the present administration and also for Kanu’s release so that there will be peace.
“We are appealing to the president not to allow bad advisers make him vindictive and retaliative in certain areas which may jeopardize people’s impression about this government. We feel that its time to give Buhari a very good support knowing that he is the President of Nigeria and not the President of Northerners or APC. All Nigerians must therefore cooperate and work together to make this administration succeed.
“Our interest is recognition and also being remembered in the development of Nigeria whereby our youths will be employed and there will be infrastructural development which will bring a palliative measure to our zone.
“We are pleading with Buhari to show compassion to our youths and also that of Nnamdi Kanu to see how the confidence of the south-east people will be restored. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Arewa Consultative Forum,ACF, should work together and ensure that nothing brings suspicion in our relationship. Buhari should be assured that all of the south-east are behind his government with support and prayers for Kanu to released.
On Igbo saboteurs
“The Igbo never had it so good in terms of appointment during former President Goodluck Jonathan. For four years,a senator from Enugu-North senatorial district was chairman,Senate Committee on Works while his counterpart at the House of Representatives was equally chairman,House Committee on Works from the same Enugu State.
“Again,another House of Representatives member was House Committee Chairman on FERMA from Enugu State. What did these people do while in office? Nothing! The one from Enugu-North senatorial district bought helicopter and built mansions all over with our collective money. Yet he wanted to be a governor through the back door. The road in his area he flagged-off to connect Kogi-Abuja never saw the light of the day. The construction ended with the flag-off.”
By Francis Igata