Igbo residents in Ekiti State on Thursday held a reception for Governor Ayodele Fayose for publicly identifying with the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu.
At a reception organised at Fajuyi Park, Ado-Ekiti, to welcome him back to the state after his trip to Abuja to attend Kanu’s trial, the people carried various placards eulogising the governor.
The president, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ekiti State, Chief Nathaniel Uzomah, said the Igbo people made a good choice when they conferred the title ‘Nwanne di Nanmba’ on Fayose.
He said the governor had lived up to expectations by not abandoning them and standing up for justice for all.
”We gave you the title Nwanne di Nanmba and we regret it not. You have proved to be a true and real friend of Igbo people. For our country to fulfil its potentials, we must devise a civilised manner of settling issues. If there is a problem, what is needed is a roundtable discussion to thrash out the issue. ”
At the event, the governor reiterated that he stood for the unity of the country and would not support any attempt to oppress Nigerians.
He criticised former president Olusegun Obasanjo for keeping quiet while the Federal Government is persecuting the opposition.
He said, “I want to assure that Kanu will one day walk into freedom. God has a way of solving our problems in this country. When Obasanjo and others were incarcerated and it appeared they would rot in jail, God miraculously freed them and Obasanjo did not only walk free, but he walked into the Aso Rock as President.
“Unfortunately, when such people see others now being oppressed, they are keeping quiet. When the likes of Obasanjo keeps quiet in the face of this oppression, the innocent would suffer. When you have gone through an experience, you are supposed to use it to assist others. Obasanjo keeping quiet on this matter is not fair
“We are together so as to talk together. People have the right to express themselves. There must be reasons for us to dialogue or there will be danger, as everybody is complaining.
“Our economy is in bad state because we are not taking everybody along. Nnamdi Kanu should be released unconditionally,” he said.
The governor said he identified with Kanu because he believed the pro-Biafra leader was being unfairly treated.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to show mercy to Kanu, former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki retd., and the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, by releasing them from detention.
Fayose opined that force would never stop people from agitating, but that dialogue would go a long way in resolving knotty issues.
“We are Nigerians and this country belongs to all of us. I don’t want the division of this country but the unity. But as much as we don’t want the division of this country we don’t want oppression. We are not in military era. Not in 1984, we are in a 21st century when only dialogue is the way forward in a situation that we have found ourselves.
“We cannot say we would use force to make people believe in what we want them to believe in. And the moment you try to stop people from agitating, you would be creating more problems.
“You don’t know what would happen tomorrow, an Hausa man is there today. An Ijaw man was there yesterday, another person would be there tomorrow. But if the framework is there for everyone to co-exist as a nation, it would be easy for us to stay together. As it is now, all is not well.”