Nollywood veteran Kanayo O Kanayo, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu is presently facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him in response to years of the campaign for the Republic of Biafra through IPOB.
He has remained in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was arrested and extradited to Nigeria.
In July last year, IPOB had ordered a sit-at-home every Monday in the south-east to protest Kanu’s detention until he is released.
The proscribed separatist group also declared that the region would be lockdown any day Kanu is to appear in court.
Although IPOB later withdrew the order, economic activities are usually still grounded in the south-east on Mondays and any other day Kanu is to appear in court.
The development has been eliciting intense concerns, with various stakeholders lamenting the effect of such a directive on the region’s economy.
Joining the fray in his 60th birthday message on Wednesday, Kanayo pleaded with Buhari to order the release of Kanu from detention.
“Sir, on this occasion of my 60th birthday. I want to make an appeal as a son and a patriotic citizen, whose industry contributes meaningfully to the country’s GDP,” he said.
“Mr President, this is not one of those appeals orchestrated by people to lend their voices, for it’s common in our clime for people to urge celebrities and popular figures to lend their voices to national issues or growing concern. I’m not lending a voice, sir.
“I’m deeply pained by the loss of lives, wanton killings and general insecurity in the land. The south-east zone is under siege. Someone may tell you it’s what they brought upon themselves.”
The lawyer also lamented that the continued detention of the IPOB leader has affected the nation’s economy negatively.
“As a son reporting to you unofficially, every Monday is a sit-at-home annd every other day Nnamdi Kanu appears in court. The sit-at-home is very effective. Even government vehicles are off the road, economic activities are paralysed,” he said.
“The negative impact of this may be seen as only affecting the region, but it has a rippling effect on the entire nation’s economy. You’re the father of the nation with numerous sons and daughters, including Kanu. Sir, the buck stops at your table.
“I know and I appreciate that Kanu’s case is before the court and you usually don’t like to interfere with court cases, but at this stage of heightened tensions in our country, it is no longer enough to say the matter is before the court.
“You’re the president with executive powers. My appeal: please release Nnamdi Kanu. This is my 60th birthday appeal.”