The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has said that he stopped siding former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, because he fears he might – like Orji Uzor Kalu, the Governor of Abia State – start campaigning for One Nigeria.
The proscribed IPOB seeks to restore an independent state of Biafra in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria through an independence referendum.
Recall that Kalu was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday, 5 December 2019, and sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud.
On Friday,8 May 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that his trial was wrongly conducted and released him from prison while ordering a retrial.
For Metuh, he is convicted of money laundering charges. At the present time, Metuh is still in custody, having been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) in 2016.
“Why I stopped campaigning for or talking about Olisa Metuh is because, look at the Orji Uzor Kalu that we worked very hard for, and he came out. What did he do?
“He is the one now telling us about Igbo Presidency, and all the garbage,” Kanu said in his routine Facebook broadcast on Friday morning.
“Some of these politicians, you cannot trust them anymore.
“Two of them were in jail.
“We fought and Orji Uzor Kalu came out, and Olisa Metuh was left.
“And we are fighting for him to come out.
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“The person that came out now is the one that is touring all over the place, telling how sweet Nigeria is.
“The same people that put him in jail, how wonderful it is!
“So, the warning came: you cannot trust these people.
“But that doesn’t mean that we cannot fight for him.
“We shall fight for him.”
“We are doing all we can to make sure he comes out, because he is a Biafran, and he is suffering unjustly.”
Igbo Presidency: South East group seeks Middle Belt’s support
In a piece of related news, a southeast group on Thursday hit Makurdi, the Benue State capital to engage in talks with a North Central group focusing on the South East’s agitation to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
The meeting was held under the auspices of South-East and North-Central Forum.
Chairman of the forum, Afam Ezenwafor, who doubles as Chairman, Conference of 2019 South-East All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly Candidates, said it became necessary for the South East to collaborate with North Central to realise its dream of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
“We cannot do without the middle and North Central is in the middle. What is holding Nigeria together is the Middle Belt. Our synergy with North Central will form a formidable force towards winning the race in 2023. North Central is the fulcrum of this country,” he said.
He pledged that the South East would present a good material for the 2023 presidency.
“Igbo people see Nigeria as their business, and since they don’t ever want their business to crash, Nigeria will not crash in the hand of the Igbo.
“We are also aware that there is a need for us to bring a sound candidate and that we can assure you we will do because the destiny of this country lies in our hands,” Ezenwafor added.
He decried the incessant herdsmen attacks on farmers in North Central and promised that it would be addressed in 2023.
The convener of the forum, George Ugwuja, explained that the meeting was at the instance of the Conference of 2019 South East APC House of Assembly Candidates made up of all the candidates that contested the 2019 House of Assembly elections in the South East.
According to him, part of the forum’s agenda is to demand a president of South-East extraction, adding that they are counting on the support of North Central. Ugwuja assured the South East of North Central’s support in its quest to produce the next president.