The Northern Elders Forum on Sunday condemned Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for speaking against the Federal Government’s move to re-arrest leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo had said the government was biased, for not arresting the Arewa youth who issued quit notice to Igbos.
Chairman of NEF, Mr. Paul Unongo however said Kanu’s case was completely different from the ultimatum issued, stating that there was no basis for comparison.
He added that Ohanaeze was ‘trivialising criminality’.
Unongo said the leaders in the North were able to call the youth to order but same cannot be said for Kanu.
Unongo said, “Leaders should be careful about what they support. This is the kind of thing that happened when our young men from the North, feeling cheated and angry with the old men from Kanu’s place for not cautioning Kanu, did what they did (ultimatum).
“But I came out immediately and said Nigerians have inalienable right to reside anywhere. I did that even to the detriment of my friendship with some people. But what Ohanaeze members are doing is that they are giving the impression that if someone commits a crime and is from their tribe, he shouldn’t be tried. I don’t understand. Are they saying he (Kanu) should not be tried until someone from another part of the country is arrested? That will invite chaos to the country.”
The NEF chairman said Kanu’s matter should be left for the court to decide.
Unongo said, “I will advise Ohanaeze and the Federal Government to let the matter be settled at the court because the issue of detention is in the hands of the court. The court had heard his case and the defence counsel asked for bail while the prosecution opposed it.
“It was granted and if the conditions were flouted, I think the prosecution is right to approach the same court to prove that the bail condition has been violated and to ask for the court to revoke the bail.”