Use political, diplomatic means to address IPOB issues, Reps urge Tinubu

as Abbas reserves ruling on proposed motion seeking Nnamdi Kanu’s release

House of Representatives, Thursday, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to explore political and diplomatic means to address the issues of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a way of ending the perennial menace of insecurity in the South East region of the country.

The House also urged the government to consult with the political, traditional and religious leaders in Ebonyi State and the South East to find a lasting solution to challenge.

The call followed the consideration of a motion moved by Hon. Eze Nwachukwu from Ebonyi State while seeking to halt the killings in Ebonyi/Ohaukwu federal constituency of the State.

Presenting the motion, Nwachukwu said two persons were killed on July 4 in a market in Ebonyi LGA by unidentified gunmen, with several others sustaining injuries.

He said there had been complaints by the market leaders who called for enhanced security in the area.

The lawmaker said despite the several attacks in the federal constituency, security agencies were yet “adopt workable measures to abate further killing in the area”.

However, a prayer by the lawmaker representing Isiala Ngwa north federal constituency of Abia State, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe seeking the release of IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kalu by President Tinubu failed.

Onwusibe urged the House to prevail on Tinubu to ensure Kanu’s release to bring to an end to the killings in the south-east geo-political zone.

He said: “The insecurity situation in the entire south-east is a result of the prolonged detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”, adding the House to see it as a “way of releasing him (Kanu) so as to restore peace in the entire south east”.

But the deputy majority leader, Hon. Abdullahi Halims warned the House against delving into such matters, saying it was subjudiced.

“The amendment as proposed by my colleague for the release of somebody in detention is a constitutional matter and should not be brought before the floor of this house because it is in the court and (would be) subjudiced. Matters like that are always determined by the court and not by parliamentary decision,” he said.

But in his contribution, the deputy speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, who spoke in favour of the amendment explained that Onwusibe’s proposal was seeking an “amicable way” of securing Kanu’s release.

He said: “The motion moved by Ginger was to find an amicable way of resolving the issue with regards to Nnamdi Kanu and to maybe urge president to use any other diplomatic or political approach granted that this is before the court to find a lasting solution on this issue because those of us from the south-east, we know where the shoe is pinching us. And we know what you can take out of it and there will be a healthy situation in the south-east.

“The amendment is for us to urge Mr president to use political and diplomatic intervention to release Nnamdi Kanu to enable that zone to find a lasting peace.”

At this juncture, the Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas put the voice vote but could not determine whether it was the ayes or nays had it.

“Honourable colleagues, I am unable to ascertain which side has carried the day. So, we will suspend the (proposed amendment) to the end. Let me allow other people to propose their amendment,” he said.

Similarly, the chief whip of the House, Hon. Usman Bello Kumo in his contribution corroborated Hallims position, saying the issue was before the court.

“We don’t have any issue with the release of anybody in Nigeria. All Nigerians are very important but let’s please respect our laws. We cannot discuss it”, he said.

In his ruling, Abbas said the amendment will be decided on next week after “due consultation”.

“This is a topical issue, my ruling on this is that I will defer ruling on this at this particular time and I will invite both the minority and majority leaders so that we can consult and see what the point of the law says before I make my own position known.

“So, while I rule on other motions and amendments that have been proposed, that particular one is suspended for ruling next week after due consultation”, the speaker said.

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