The release of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has been speculated to affect the chances of Labour Party standard bearer, Peter Obi at the poll.
Kanu was discharged by the Abuja Court of Appeal in a unanimous verdict on Thursday, leading to the freedom of the secessionist from the Department of State Service custody in the Federal Capital Territory.
According to Daily Post, the news of his release yesterday particularly excited residents of the South-East with some stakeholders predicting how Kanu’s freedom would affect Peter Obi’s chances at the polls in 2023.
Prior to his arrest, Nnamdi Kanu, who is a major opinion leader in the South East, had ruled out the possibility of the Nigerian government conducting elections in the region.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Mr Kenneth Onuh, told newshound on Thursday that Kanu’s release would affect Peter Obi’s presidential bid negatively.
According to him, Igbos would now continue their agitation for a possible break up from Nigeria, stressing that they may no longer be interested in the Igbo presidency or any form of election.
He said, “The attention of the whole Ndigbo has been shifted from Peter Obi. They are now following their master, Kanu, so Peter Obi and other presidential candidates who were relying on the South-East may have to look for alternatives.
“Before he was detained, he clearly told everyone that the election would not hold in Igbo land. He is back, and agitation continues. This is going to affect Peter Obi more than other candidates”.
Recall that IPOB, while reacting to the release of their leader, told newsmen yesterday that the realization of the Biafra nation would be their next target, stressing that nothing can stop the movement.
In a chat with Daily Post, the IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, said, “Biafrans both home and abroad, including our friends, should rejoice because Almighty Chukwu Okike Abiama has done it again.
“Biafra realisation is the next target, and nothing will stop IPOB from achieving Biafra freedom.
“If you know you are a criminal terrorising our people, just run because you are going to meet your waterloo.”
However, when contacted, the President-General of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, Mr Goodluck Ibem, countered Onuh, saying Kanu’s release would favour the Labour Party candidate.
“We are happy that he has been released. The release of Mazi cannot affect Peter Obi’s negativity, it will rather add colour to what is already happening”, he said.
Asked if there was the possibility of Kanu asking the Igbos, particularly youths, to boycott the Igbo presidency, Mr Ibem said, “I can’t read his mind to know if he would say so, but all I know is that we are happy that he has been released and we are ready to vote.”
Similarly, a Labour Party member in Abuja, who identified himself simply as Mr IK, said the release of Knau would force many Igbos to change their negative perception of Nigeria.
He said, “I don’t see Kanu’s release as a threat to Peter Obi. The truth is that many people who didn’t plan to vote before due to what the government was doing to Kanu may now have a change of plan.
“Before now, they don’t believe in the judiciary, not to talk of the government itself but what happened today has made many people to change their thoughts.”