By Jude Atupulazi
The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the November 6 election in Anambra State, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Nnamdi Kanu from detention, just as he suggested a better approach to agitations, writes Jude Atupulazi.
Kanu, leader of the proscribed separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is facing multiple charges, chief of which is treason. He was arrested in Kenya and ferried to Nigeria where he was clamped into detention; a development that has since triggered violent agitations in the Southeast of Nigeria.
Ozigbo made the call at a 2021 Anambra gubernatorial debate hosted by the Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS, Awka, last Sunday, at which he turned out as the only candidate of a major political party to attend the hour-long debate. Four other candidates took part but were candidates of lesser known parties.
Professor Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were candidates of the other major parties that missed the event.
Speaking on Kanu’s continued incarceration, Ozigbo called for his release; even as he sued for non-violent and diplomatic means of addressing calls for secession. He argued that releasing Kanu would be a precursor to addressing the root causes of the agitation.
His words, ‘I always focus on the root causes of problem-solving. We can’t be addressing a problem from the symptoms. An efficient way to address any crisis is to deal with the root.
‘Why the agitations? If you think deeply, you’ll understand that it is because Nigeria is not working. Our leaders have failed us. The sense of hopelessness brought about by poor governance pervades the land.’
Pointing out that the country needed to do much more, the business mogul said that problems like poor road network, decayed infrastructure, failed social systems, devastating healthcare sector, a shrinking economy, lack of opportunities, and many more manifestations of poor governance, had led to many Nigerians not wishing to be part of the country anymore.
He therefore called for a fresh approach to leadership, stressing that the country must focus on raising competitiveness, among other solutions; devoid of nepotism, while entrenching competency.
‘We must restructure Nigeria to be more just, more competitive, and more inclusive,’ Ozigbo stated.
The other candidates who attended the event were Col. Geoffrey Onyejegbu (Rtd), the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM); Dr Chidozie Nwankwo of the African Action Congress (AAC); and Chief Akachukwu Nwamkpo of African Democratic Congress (ADC).