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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

IWA warns on detention of Nnamdi Kanu, demands unconditional release



The Igbo World Assembly (IWA) has asked the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to free unconditionally the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, describing him as the first political prisoner of the President Mohammadu Buhari administration, reports ITRealms.

The group in a press statement made available to ITRealms, IWA Chairman, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze and Secretary General, Mr. Oliver Nwankwor, said that Kanu is part of the Mass Media and should not be arrested or detained because of expressed opinions.

They noted that freedom of speech is guaranteed by Section 22 and Section 39 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended and such right is also enshrined in the Geneva Convention Universal Human Right Declaration Article 19 when it stated that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

IWA also said that the detention and harassment of Mr. Kanu, is an affront to a free press and speech of all Nigerians.

“Radio Biafra of which Nnamdi Kanu serves as the Managing Editor is part of the Mass Media and should not be arrested or detained because of their expressed opinions,” IWA said.

Insisting that effort at suppressing press freedom was associated with the dictatorship of the past military rule in the country.

They therefore, invited “All Igbo and indeed all Nigerians should defend press freedom and the right of Radio Biafra to express its views on Nigeria publicly. Igbos must not be subjected to a different treatment from other Nigerians.

“This incessant harassment and in some cases killing of members of Igbo organizations must be put to an end. MASSOB or Radio Biafra have not picked up arms against or challenged the Nigerian Government by force.

“Arrests and harassment of Igbo leaders is sending a wrong signal and message to young and newer generation of Igbos under 45 who did not witness the genocide war against people in the east,” IWA warned, emphasizing that elsewhere in the world, peaceful freedom movements are going on in Western Cameroon, Scotland; Quebec in Canada, Texas in the United States and nobody has been arrested or detained by the governments of these countries”, IWA noted.

The group further stated that all Nigerians of goodwill should join in the campaign to restore freedom of speech and movement in Nigeria which has been abridged by the arrest and detention of Kanu.
 

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Pix: IWA Chairman, Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze

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