Nine candidates in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election have appealed to the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In a joint statement, the candidates said releasing the IPOB leader would help forestall “impending violence” in the south-east.
The joint statement was signed by Ben Etiaba of Action Alliance (AA), Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Obinna Uzoh of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Akachukwu Nwankpo of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Onyejegbu Okwudili of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Ifeanyi Uba of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Andy Uba of All Progressives Congress (APC), Nnamdi Nnawuo of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Obiora Okonkwo of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
“We the candidates in the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election commit unequivocally to non-violence and the maintenance of peace throughout the duration of the election and beyond,” it read.
“In order to eschew all acts that may torpedo the forthcoming election, we urge the federal government to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops.
“We urge the federal government to take urgent steps to demilitarise the South East Zone and stem the heightened tension, skirmishes and endless bloodletting between the security agencies and our youths.
“We urge all our supporters and other stakeholders to commit fully to these ideals and refrain from any act that may imperil the election.
“We assure our youths that we have heard your cries and that we feel your pain. We urge our youths to eschew violence and commit afresh to peace.
“Consistent with the above, we urge IPOB not to do anything that would hinder or be seen to be hindering the smooth running of the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra state and to cancel all scheduled sit-at-home orders, as these have already caused untold hardship for our people.
“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the armed forces, other security agencies and all stakeholders to discharge their mandates in accordance with law and in a fair and just manner.”