The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has reportedly assured traditional rulers in Abia and indigenes of Afaraukwu Community in Umuahia North Local Government Area of the state of safe return of His Royal Highness, Eze I. O. Kanu; father of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Recall that Eze Kanu, his wife and some members of his family were reportedly declared missing after the invasion of his palace on September 27 by personnel of the Nigerian Army and has since remained incommunicado with his loved ones and his subjects.
But Ikpeazu however while speaking during a courtesy visit on him by the people of Afaraukwu-Ibeku at the Government House in Umuahia, the state capital raised the hope that Eze Kanu would be back home soon.
According to Ikpeazu, Governors of the five Southeastern States are working assiduously to ensure that Kanu’s father returned home to meet his kits and kin, stressing that efforts were already in place to ensure that the traditional ruler doesn’t spend the New Year outside his community.
“Eze Ibeawuchi can tell some of the efforts the government made to prevent the invasion of the community. I was outside the country when the crises started on a Sunday and returned immediately to take charge in the hope of preventing the escalation of the crises. We went as far convening an emergency meeting of traditional rulers to help persuade the military not to engage the unarmed youth.
“We had to impose curfew to de-escalate the situation and moved in to ensure that those who were injured were treated.
“The south east Governors as a body is doing its best to ensure that Eze Kanu is re-united with his community. Your traditional rulers will go with me to meet other south east governors and we will work to ensure that Eze Kanu does not spend the New Year outside his domain.”
Governor Ikpeazu gave the assurance at the Government House Umuahia during a visit by the people of Afaraukwu Ibeku.
The Governor reiterated that the Government of Abia State was never consulted by the Federal Government before carrying out the operation that led to the invasion of Afaraukwu community last year by the military.
The Governor described the people of Afaraukwu as reliable allies and partners in progress, assuring that they would always receive special attention in terms of development projects, empowerment and employment as host community of Government House.
He thanked them for their prayers and support, and assured that the Trinity college road will be completed soon while work will resume at the Afara Ring road.
He said that fund has been released for the electrification of major roads and street within Orieogwu market to ensure the extension of trading time.In his address, the President General of Afaraukwu Development Union, Chief J. C. Ezebuiro, applauded the Governor for his developmental strides and assured him of the support of the community in his re-election bid
He also informed the Governor of the resolve of the community to support his re-election bid because of his good performance, equity and good governance.
“Talking about Security, you have been uncompromising, in education Abia is setting the pace, in infrastructure you have set a standard and under your watch Abia has returned back to her lost glory in Agriculture, the state has also become indomitable in Sports.”
He recalled “the grief and psychological trauma which the people are going through as a result of the sad event of September 2017, when the military unleashed mayhem on our community, coupled with the sudden disappearance of our foremost Traditional Ruler, HRM Eze Sir I. O. Kanu, The Egwu Ukwu II of Afaraukwu. We believe that the Governor being a true son of Igboland will know what to do in order to reunite our traditional ruler with our community.”