President Muhammadu Buhari has said releasing Nnamdi Kanu will invalidate the principles of separation of powers between the Executive and Judiciary.
The President, however promised to consider the request of some Southeast elders who were at the statehouse earlier on Friday to discuss the security situation in the Eastern region.
Buhari had made the promise when he received a group under the trusteeship of Highly Respected Igbo Icons , led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja.
Chief Mbazulike Amaechi had pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, for the situation in the southeast, requesting that Nnamdi Kanu be released to him as the only First Republic Minister still alive.
Chief Amaechi said he could control Kanu, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”
He had described the situation in the Southeast as painful and pathetic, lamenting that businesses have collapsed while education is crumbling with fear everywhere.
Chief Amaechi said twice he had interfaced with Nnamdi Kanu in the past and the latter rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.
“I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire.”
In response to the request by the elder statesman, President Buhari promised to consider a lighter resolution but worried that such would interfere with the principles of separation of power between the Executive and Judiciary.
Buhari said, “You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the Judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it,” he said.
Other members of the delegation to the President include Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church, Chief Barrister Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, and Mr Tagbo Mbazulike Amaechi.