A former Presidential Candidate and a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has described the demand for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB as a good step towards consolidating national unity and reconciliation.
Receiving a group under the aegis of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja, last Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari said though “the demand for an unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, currently standing trial, is heavy and runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers,” but he” will consider it.”
In a statement released by his media office in Abuja on Sunday, Olawepo-Hashim explained that “the state has the power of Nolle prosequi through the office of the Attorney General to discontinue any prosecution in the National interest especially in this context in exchange for peaceful conduct.”
He added that “following the President’s visit to Imo State on September 9, 2021, we had hinted on this direction as well during the peacefully conducted Anambra Election on November 6, 2021, which saw the contributions of many stakeholders to achieve.”
According to him, he decided to join the APC in February this year because he “saw a genuine and honest commitment on the part of a more energised President Buhari, GCFR to leave a legacy of peace, security and democratic consolidation.”
He listed what he called the “quick gains in this direction” to include:
The now settled introduction of electronic transmission of results of Election making for cleaner elections as seen in the last Anambra Election; the possibility of Direct Primaries for the election of party candidates to return power to the people particularly young people and the increasing progress in the fight against banditry and terrorism.
Other gains include the Presidential initiative for Judicial and Legislative Autonomy at the State levels to ensure Separation of powers, accountability and democratic consolidation and the Presidential initiative for Autonomy of state Legislatures, Local Government Autonomy and community policing.
He therefore noted that “the President needs all the encouragement and support he can get in this direction”, adding that “no President can solve all problems in a tenure, and if these minimum are achieved, this would be a new beginning “