Christian Aburim, the Press Secretary to the Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, has insisted that the call for the unconditional release of the arrested leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is not politically motivated.
Aburim stated that Soludo’s call for the release of Kanu arose out of a genuine determination and a desire to end the insecurity that has persisted in the South East.
Soludo at a campaign rally of the All Progressives Grand Alliance a few days back called for the unconditional release of the IPOB leader. The governor said he was ready as a surety for him.
His comments have sparked wild reactions from the people of the South East, claiming that the government made the call for political reasons as the elections are around the corner.
But in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, Aburime said the governor called for the release of Kanu because he saw the need for the IPOB leader to talk to the people of the South-East to remove insecurity in the region.
He expressed concern that the people have attached wrong political motives and meanings to the “real” call made by the governor.
He also clarified that Soludo did not discuss the situation with other South East governors as he spoke as the governor of Anambra State.
The governor said he observed that since the arrest of the IPOB leader, insecurity in the region has continued to worsen.
Explaining why the Labor Party’s campaign ads were pulled, Aburi insisted LP defaulted on payment, which led to the signage agency pulling down its signs.
He said: “Soludo’s call for the release of Kanu is borne out of a genuine desire and intention to rid the South East of insecurity. You will recall that since the arrest of Kanu, insecurity has been a major problem in the region.
“Every day you see people dying and you hear about murders here and there in the region. The governor, with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, has deployed the so-called kinetic approach to fight insecurity in the region. But he (Soludo) knew that it is time to take a non-kinetic approach as well, which is to bring critical players, like Kanu, around the table and discuss the issue of insecurity with the aim of finding a lasting solution.
“And now he is saying that Kanu should be released to be part of the people who should be called to a round table to have a discussion on insecurity and the governor is saying that the Federal Government should release him unconditionally so that he can talk to the people of the South East.
“And if he cannot be released unconditionally, the governor said he is ready as his guarantee. This is a genuine call, it has nothing to do with political reasons or selfish interest. It is a genuine call to bring lasting peace to the region.
“Soludo acknowledged that the court had released Kanu and said that if the federal government cannot release him unconditionally on some issues, he is ready to offer himself as surety and give whenever the Federal Government wants.
“I cannot say whether the governor intends to consult or meet with other governors in the South East on the Kanu issue but what I can say is that the letter to the AGF is ready and will be given to him anytime from now.
“On the issue of campaign advertisements, nobody ran advertisements for political reasons, what happened was that the LP defaulted on payment and the sign agency in Anambra went after the non-paying advertisements. The campaign advertisements of APC or PDP were not removed because due process was followed.’