Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) has gone down on its knees to beg President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, a presidential pardon to enable him bury his father with respect and dignity as Igbo tradition demands; failure to which passions will only hardened and pro-IPOB support for Biafran independence would intensify.
Huhuonline.com understands that as a matter of tradition and culture, first sons in Igboland are duty-bound to give their parents, especially the father, a befitting burial; and Kanu, being the first son of the late king, is expected to be present to organise proper obsequies for his late father.
In a statement in Abakaliki at the weekend, the national president of OYC, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, noted that the international community was watching the development. He added that OYC was worried about the military presence in Kanu’s village, Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State; a few days to the burial of the deceased king, Eze Kanu, and his queen, ostensibly to arrest the IPOB leader on arrival.
He appealed to President Buhari to consider the international damage Kanu’s absence at the burial would do to Nigeria’s image, adding that the international community would not forget any human rights violation or abuse during and after the burial. He further pleaded with Buhari to pull out the military from the village and accord the late king the last respects by allowing Kanu to return and bury his parents according to Igbo tradition and culture.
The statement read in part, “There’s nothing amiss if President Muhammadu Buhari in person or through high-powered delegation attends and sends condolence message to the people of Afaraukwu, Umuahia, on the demise of their paramount ruler, HRM Eze Kanu, and his wife, as such presidential gesture will portray him as a good father of the nation.”
Urging Southeast governors to rebuild the palace destroyed during the Operation Python Dance, the group pleaded with Biafra agitators to slow down on any provocative action that might invite confrontation with security agents during the funeral. “There should be no display of Biafran flags and uniforms, protests and other things that might give security agents the impetus to wade in and wreak havoc during the burial,” the statement admonished.