By Jacob Kubeka –
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has explained that the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is still being detained because of the likelihood that he may jump bail again.
President Buhari gave the explanation while speaking at a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on the margins of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, yesterday.
According to Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President stated that the case of Kanu was before the court of law, stressing that Kanu has being given the opportunity to defend himself.
Adesina, in a statement, quoted Buhari as telling the British that Kanu’s lawyers have access to him.
“Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again, if he’s admitted to bail?”
“He is being given every opportunity under the law to justify all the uncomplimentary things he had been saying against Nigeria in Britain.”
“He felt very safe in Britain, and said awful things against Nigeria. We eventually got him when he stepped out of the United Kingdom, and we sent him to court.
Let him defend all that he has said there. His lawyers have access to him. Remember he jumped bail before, how are we sure he won’t do it again, if he’s admitted to bail?”, Buhari asked
He once again reiterated his resolve to respect the maximum term limit in the Nigerian Constitution.
The Prime Minister obviously not quite familiar with the maximum two terms limit, had asked Buhari would run for office again. To which the latter responded:
“Another term for me? No! The first person who tried it didn’t end very well.”
On the keenness expressed by the Prime Minister to help Nigeria in the area of security, the President said helping to stabilize Libya could be an initial good step, as the fall of Muammar Gadaffi after 42 years in power unleashed his armed guards on countries in the Sahel, “and they are causing havoc everywhere, as the only thing they know how to do is to shoot guns.”
On Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari said there was serious effort to educate the people on the fact that only an unserious person could kill innocent people, “and say Allah Akbar (God is Great). God is justice. You can’t take innocent souls, and ascribe it to God. And the education process is working, the people now understand Boko Haram as anti-God, and not about religion.”
The British Prime Minister said he was delighted about the good news on trade between the two countries, adding that the United Kingdom was further reducing tariffs on some goods going to Nigeria.
He described the relationship between the countries as “very strong attachment,” adding: “I just want to be sure that we are doing enough. It’s a massive partnership for us, and we need to capitalize on it.”
The Prime Minister offered condolences on some recent attacks in Nigeria, particularly on churches.
(With a report by African Examiner)