Olisa Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says President Muhammadu Buhari must adopt a political solution for the release of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Metuh said Kanu’s release will end the restiveness in the South east Region, adding that waiting for a legal solution and the continued use of military option is “rather worsening the situation and leading to violence and avoidable loss of lives.
Metuh who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday argued that a political solution that involves dialogue and understanding of sensibilities will bring the desired peace in the region”.
According to him, the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu and use of force in the South East will heighten hostilities and result in more bloodshed.
The PDP chieftain urged the Federal Government not to repeat the mistake the nation made in the handling of the Boko Haram issue in 2009 when the sect’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf was killed extrajudicially; a situation that led to the escalation of violent conflict and insurgency in the North East.
He said Government should learn from the South African experience, where the incarceration of Nelson Mandela and use of force against agitation did not solve the problem but led to more economic and social crisis until the Government of South Africa applied a political solution and brought lasting peace to that country
According to Metuh, the situation in the South east is very heartrending. It is worsening by the day with the creation of camps and imposition of illegal levies by faceless groups.
The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, waiting for legal solution and the adoption of military option or use of force to suppress agitation have not helped. Instead, it is worsening the situation. It is coming at great cost to human lives and huge expense to the Federal Government. Meanwhile this is what simple political solution and dialogue will solve.
“Already, some unknown interests have hijacked the genuine agitation of the people and we can see the havoc such already causing the south East with the emergence of extortionist gangs and mafia groups who are now killing innocent people and blaming it on agitationists. Social and economic lives are being crippled and citizens are under siege.
“President Buhari must not let this continue, we must learn from our past. We mustn’t let the South East degenerate into another North East. We should learn from the South African experience where the incarceration of Nelson Mandela and use of force on the people did not solve the problem until the government applied a political solution. Only a political solution in the release of Nnamdi Kanu can solve the problem of the south east region” Metuh Stated.
Speaking on the chances of the South East picking the PDP’s presidential ticket, the former PDP scribe said the region must pick a consensus candidate so as to have the region’s bloc vote at the convention.
“For us to have an Igbo Presidential candidate in the PDP, we must present a consensus candidate. All the aspirants from the South east must sit down, and select just one aspirant and we can then negotiate with other regions and get the ticket,” he said.
“The PDP in South East must be able to build alliance with other regions in the south, that is South -South and South West. Then, we can convince at least one of the other regions in the North on the need to vote for our candidate. This is the best way we can achieve a PDP presidential candidate from the South East”, Metuh said.
“Whilst I concede that the PDP has an incredible array of excellent materials for the Presidency, we must accept that one of our own is rated as the best in the field by all and sundry. We should present him as our consensus candidate and seek the buy-in of other zones”.