The governor of governor of Anambra, Chukwuma Soludo has asked the federal government to handle the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), with speed so that he can be convicted or freed instead of being kept “in indefinite detention”.

Soludo spoke at the peacebuilding and security dialogue held with stakeholders in Awka on Saturday over the deteriorating security challenges in the region.

The governor said an expeditious release of Kanu would cushion the insecurity impasse in the zone.

He pointed out that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

He assured that he would lead his counterparts in the south-east to engage the federal government in dialogue on how to handle the insecurity situation in the region.

He called on all genuine agitators to drop their arms and leave the forest while warning criminal elements taking advantage of the situation to withdraw or face the full force of the law.

He said the state government would open rehabilitation centres for those who dropped their arms and set up a truth and reconciliation panel to investigate and placate those who lost their lives and property in the course of the struggle.

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Soludo said he is ready for total engagement with all parties, including the aggrieved, in the quest for peace.

“We will engage with the good, the bad and the ugly, we will not discriminate against anybody,” Soludo said.

“We need more engagement than force in solving the problems, we need peace and security in our land to make progress, we can’t continue to cut our nose to spite our face.

“All churches should announce the Monday prayers. They will also signal the end of Monday sit-at-home order that had lingered for months.”

In a communique released at the end of the meeting, the stakeholders called on the federal government to free Kanu unconditionally to douse the tension in the region.

They condemned the sit-at-home directive, describing it as self-destructive and inimical to the progress of the region.

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The body called on all injured, aggrieved and victims of the insecurity in the south-east to embrace the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Anambra government.

“We recognise that there is country-wide agitation for restructuring of inter-ethnic and inter-governmental relations in Nigeria, with a view to greater inclusiveness,” they said.

“We, therefore, share the genuine concern over the political and economic marginalisation of the south-east geopolitical zone of Nigeria, a major plank of the agitation by the IPOB.

“We call for constructive and continuous dialogue by all parties as a more sustainable solution to overcoming the challenge and winning the hearts and minds of the people.

“We join our voices to the call for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government to douse the current tensions across the Southeast.

“We call on all criminal elements masquerading as working under the instruction of IPOB or ESN to desist from further acts of violence and criminality or face a placeable force of law and order.”

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