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We Are Lobbying FG To Secure Release Of Nnamdi Kanu —Kalu

..Says SEDC Bill At Conference Committee Stage

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has revealed that frantic efforts are ongoing to secure the release of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

He said that while the court processes are ongoing, political solutions are being worked out.

Speaking at the special edition of “The Ben Kalu’s Mandate”, a radio programme of FLO FM, Umuahia, Abia State on Monday virtually, the deputy speaker said that it was deliberate to work behind the scene to realise the objective.

Kalu’s clarification came on the heels of an enquiry by the programme anchor, Wisdom Thomas of the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), a recently launched initiative of the Deputy Speaker which calls for a non kinetic measure to resolve the security challenges in the South East has abandoned the IPOB leader.

While calling for support for the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the deputy speaker also hinted of a likely visit by the elders of Igbo land to engage President Bola Tinubu on familiar issues affecting the South East.

He said: “The Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) has reconciliation in the mix of what we are trying to achieve. We recognise the importance of our brother, Nnamdi Kanu in the peace agenda we are pushing. That’s the truth, and I have been very vocal about it. I am not hiding it.

“I have always told people that I will never deny Nnamdi Kanu. He’s my brother. We come from the same place and I will never be happy having him incarcerated when we can have him out and increase our pursuit towards peace.

“But we may not advance all the things we are doing backdoor but I can assure you that all the powers-that-be in this country know that people like us are not sitting on the fence.

“I don’t know about the next person but I am talking about Benjamin Okezie Kalu. I am not sitting on the fence about it. I am lobbying.

“And I am happy with the statement that he made the last time he was in court. He said all those who are causing violence are not IPOB people, that anybody who is using his name to be causing violence is a hater of Ndi Igbo.

“Look, Igbos are not known for violence. We are known for trade, being creative. Call it Nollywood, we are the engine room that started the creative industry.

“We are not life killers and anybody coming now to introduce what is strange to us, it’s either the person is not an Igbo man or we should question where he is coming from.

“Burning things down is not how we show our strength. How we show our strength is that when we enter your community, we make wealth to better our lives. That’s our strength.

“I am happy he sounded that warning. I am happy we are coming together to achieve it. And I want to thank the people.

“Since we launched this programme about 4 months now, there is a little bit of peace and it is the combined effort of everyone coming together, understanding that it is true we need peace. Let’s be calm.

“Let’s support this government. And I want to thank the people of the south east for not joining the protest. I want to thank Ohaneze Ndi Igbo for sending out messages and saying no, we should not protest too.

Number one reason: The President from the south. He didn’t create the problem. He’s also giving us appointments. So, we must give him the support.

“As we are asking Mr. President to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for us and giving us South East Development Commission, we must on the other show him loyalty by making sure that there is peace in our area. No violence, support his government.”

Speaking on the present state of the South East Development Commission Bill, Kalu said that the piece of legislation is at the conference committee stage where some issues regarding the confirmation of the commissioners are being resolved.

“The South East Development Commission Bill is before the Senate at the moment and it has gone through 3rd reading.

“What is happening at the moment is what we call the conference committee that will go through the bill and find out areas of divergence and convergence on only one clause that they want to amend and that clause has to do with the appointment of the commissioners to be confirmed only by the Senate and not the national assembly involving the House of Representatives like we have drafted it. It’s a minor issue which the House will be willing to let go.

“So, that is the only thing that is remaining and I am sure by the time we resume, the Committee that has been formed to look at the issue, the conference committee will tender their report.

“We believe that by the time it gets to the presidency, it will be assented to by the peace-loving president of the federal Republic of Nigeria who actually loves the Igbos and interested in making a mark in Igbo land”, Kalu said.

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