*Kanu, Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Igbo leaders to consider a plea for amnesty for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who is currently standing trial for alleged treason.

The president gave the assurance while group under the umbrella of Highly Respected Igbo Greats, led by First Republic parliamentarian and minister of aviation, Mr. Mbazulike Amaechi, at State House, Abuja.

He said the demand for Kanu’s unconditional release was a tough one for him to consider for, according to him, it runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.

However, he said he would give a thought to the demand.

“You’ve made an extremely difficult demand on me as leader of this country. The implication of your request is very serious. In the last six years, since I became President, nobody would say I have confronted or interfered in the work of the judiciary. God has spared you, and given you a clear head at this age, with a very sharp memory. A lot of people half your age are confused already. But the demand you made is heavy. I will consider it,” the president told Amaechi.

He said when the IPOB leader jumped bail and was later arrested and brought back to the country, he insisted that the judiciary should subject him to the system.

“Let him make his case in court, instead of giving very negative impressions of the country from outside. I feel it’s even a favour to give him that opportunity,” he added.

The president used the opportunity to condole with Amaechi, who recently lost his wife and prayed to God for the repose of her sole.

Earlier, Amaechi had described the situation in the southeast as “painful and pathetic”, lamenting that businesses were collapsing, education crumbling and there is fear everywhere.

He pleaded for a political, rather than military solution, requesting that if Kanu was released to him as the only First Republic minister still alive, “he would no longer say the things he had been saying.”

Amaechi said he could control Kanu, “not because I have anything to do with them (IPOB), but I am highly respected in Igbo land today.”

The elder statesman further said that he, on two different occasions, had an interface with Kanu and the IPOB leader rescinded orders earlier given on civil disobedience.

“I don’t want to leave this planet without peace returning to my country. I believe in one big, united Nigeria, a force in Africa. Mr. President, I want you to be remembered as a person who saw Nigeria burning, and you quenched the fire,” he said.

Other people in the visiting delegation were the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the Methodist Church; former president of Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, Mr. Goddy Uwazurike and Mr. Tagbo Mbazulike Amaechi.