Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:38 pm
Abia Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, said he will not yield to pressure to dethrone Eze Isreal Kanu, the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu Ibeku community of the State who is the father of Nnamdi Kanu, the on the run leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
There have been calls for dethronement of Eze Israel Kanu, the father of the IPOB leader by some groups following the clash between members of IPOB and Nigerian troops last week and the subsequent banning of the group by South-east governors. The whereabouts of Kanu and his father are unknown currently.
But Ikpeazu told journalists at Aso Rock presidential villa after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday that he cannot visit the sin of the father on the son.
“I clearly separate Kanu from his father. The processes of handling traditional institutions are enshrined in the laws of our land. And traditional rulers who are members of our constituency have leadership, they will do the needful at the appropriate time. But for me, I think there is a clear division between Nnamdi Kanu and his father”.
“I am heading a sub-national government and when this kind of thing happens, which would have had dimension of national proportion, is right that you will come and brief the C-in-C or his vice and that is exactly what I have come to do,” the Governor said of the purpose of his visit to the Vice President.
“We are still working to stabilize the fragile peace in the region. I thank God also for the instruments he used to be able to keep our country as one. We are humbled by the privileges,” he said.
He added that visit of some northern governors to Abia state yesterday was a further demonstration of the quest for unity in Nigeria.
Ikpeazu said he assured the governors of safety of lives and property of everybody that resides in Abia.
“ I swore with the Bible to protect lives and property and because I take such things seriously, I will continue to protect the lives and property of my brothers and sisters irrespective of where they come from.
“First and foremost I think our relationship with our brothers from northern Nigeria the governors; they have assured that every part of Nigeria is safe for every Nigerian including Igbos to continue in their business and enterprise. I want to announce that the population of Igbos outside Ibo enclave is about 11.6 million, you don’t play with the lives of 11.6 million”.
“So we all have to be careful, the press, the leadership at the state level, the leadership at the federal government level, everybody. I think we should be guarded by the rule of law and grow confidence in the Nigerian citizens that under our laws that he is protected.
“You know that the main stay of our economy in Abia State is trade and commerce and I do not think it will augur well for our economy if we make our kitchen the theater of Biafra,” he added.