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Killing of soldiers: ‘It’s time to explore political solution for Nnamdi Kanu’ – Atiku


Gunmen, on Thursday morning, attacked and killed soldiers in Obikabia Junction in Aba, the commercial hub of the Abia State.

ByChinagorom Ugwu  May 31, 2024 Reading Time: 2 mins read

After the killing of five soldiers by gunmen in Abia State, former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has said it is now time for a political solution to be explored for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

PREMIUM TIMES reported how masked gunmen, on Thursday morning, attacked and killed the soldiers in Obikabia Junction in Aba, the commercial hub of the Abia State.

The gunmen, who also burnt the soldiers’ patrol truck, were said to be enforcing the sit-at-home order declared by IPOB across the South-east to mark their Biafra Day which is celebrated annually in the region.

The Nigerian military would later vow to retaliate the killing of the soldiers.

IPOB is a group seeking to carve out a sovereign state of Biafra from South-east and some parts of the South-south of Nigeria.

‘Time to explore political solution’

Yahaya Bello vs EFCC

Mr Kanu, the IPOB leader, is being detained at the facility of the State Security Service (SSS) in Abuja since he was repatriated to Nigeria from Kenya in 2021.

He is facing charges of alleged terrorism at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Several Igbo leaders and South-east governors have repeatedly appealed to the Nigerian government to explore a political solution in order to release the IPOB leader.

The Nigerian government has ignored the appeals.

In a post on his X handle on Friday, Atiku said with the killing of the soldiers in the region, exploring the political solution for Mr Kanu’s release has become imperative.

“Without prejudice to the ongoing legal processes, I think the time has come to explore a political resolution to the Nnamdi Kanu and other associated issues.

“I believe that this will defuse the compressor cooker situation in the region. It will be a win-win for all parties,” he said.

The former vice-president condemned the killing of the soldiers and said the identities of the gunmen hiding under the cover of Biafra agitation to carry out attacks must be unmasked.

He said this would ensure that criminals in the South-east were separated from “legitimate agitators”.

Atiku expressed worry that the impact of the sit-at-home on students sitting for West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination in the South-east would be “even more profound”.


Mr Kanu was first arrested in 2015 under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on 13 October 2022, held that the IPOB leader was extraordinarily renditioned to Nigeria and that the action was a flagrant violation of the country’s extradition treaty and also a breach of his fundamental human rights.

The court, therefore, struck out the terrorism charges filed against Mr Kanu by the Nigerian government and ordered his release from the SSS facility.

But the government refused to release the IPOB leader insisting that he Kanu could be unavailable in subsequent court proceedings if released and that his release would cause insecurity in the South-east, where he comes from.

The government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, later appealed the court ruling and subsequently obtained an order staying the execution of the court judgement at the Supreme Court.

Delivering judgement on the appeal on 15 December, the Supreme Court reversed the acquittal granted to Mr Kanu by the lower court and consequently ordered continuation of his trial at the Federal High Court Abuja.

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