By Sanni Onogu and Emma Elekwa
Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has reminded the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu that his actions and utterances have consequences for his people.
The former Abia State Governor said he visited Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
In a statement on his Facebook page, Kalu said he met Kanu in good health.
The senator said: “This afternoon (yesterday), I visited my brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody, Abuja. I met him in good health and care and we discussed as ‘Umunne’.
“In 2001 when I was governor, I made his father Eze Israel Okwu Kanu, the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu and since then the family has been very close to me.
“I understand that Nnamdi has an insane amount of people rooting for him back home and I encouraged him to consider the consequences of certain actions and utterances for the sake of the same people.
“Even though my ideology and his ideology are totally different, God has made us brothers and we can’t run away from each other.
“I owe him and Nigerians good counselling, whether he and his family listen to me or not, I will continue counselling him as I have always done in the past.
“What we need most is a peaceful and secure society.”
Kanu’s lawyers had alleged that their client was confined to a tiny cell 23 hours a day without access to sunlight or any social interactions.
They claimed the “condition of his detention at the Department of State Services (DSS) headquarters in Abuja continues to be harsh, degrading and inhumane.”
IPOB: we’ll be glad if Kanu is freed
Also yesterday, IPOB restated its demand for the unconditional release of Kalu.
The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said: “We are waiting for the unconditional release of our leader because he committed nothing to deserve his current ordeal and inhuman treatments.”
According to him, IPOB members and “Biafrans and friends of Biafra” will be happy “and thank our God, Chukwu Okike Abiama,” if Kanu is released.
The IPOB spokesperson also said the group was not opposed to power devolution.
“Nigerian government must bear one thing in mind: IPOB is not fighting restructuring. We are not against restructuring but our demand is not restructuring.
“Our demand is the restoration of Biafra State. All we need is a date for a referendum to decide whether or not we want to continue with this forced marriage.
“Those who think Nigeria is ready for restructuring may have to think again. Those benefiting from the current lopsidedness have made restructuring impossible. They are unlikely to heed the clamour for restructuring.
“But for us, the only thing that can make us slow down a little is the government giving us a date for referendum. Restoration of the sovereign State of Biafra is a divine mandate.
“Our eternal leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu told them to restructure Nigeria; they said no and killed millions of Biafrans in the war.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB did not come on board to demand restructuring; we are for total freedom and independence,” Powerful said.