President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu must defend himself in court.
The president said this while responding to appeals for the release of the detained IPOB leader.
South-east traditional, religious and political leaders made the appeal during a Town Hall meeting with Buhari in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, on Friday.
The meeting was the last official engagement of the president, who was on a two-day working visit to the state.
President Buhari said, “I have listened carefully to the various appeals from the elders to the traditional leaders regarding a wide range of options.
“As I have said previously this matter remains in the full purview of the courts where it will be properly adjudicated.
“My worry is for our hard-working and innocent civilians, for whom life is already tough and would like to earn a decent and honest living.”
He frowned upon the brutal activities of terrorists in the South-east and other parts of the country.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to protect and defend innocent citizens from those bent on causing breakdown of law and order across the country.
He also expressed concerns over the worsening security situation in the region, reiterating his directive to security agencies to flush out those perpetrating violence in the land.
Also speaking, Governor David Umahi, who appreciated the president for his visit to the state, reiterated his position for a political solution to the Nnamdi Kanu dilemma.
On his presidential ambition, the governor expressed optimism that the president would support the South-east Presidency in 2023.
He, however, said it would be morally wrong for any candidate from the South-south and South-west to vie for All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket if the party agreed to zone it to the South.
Others, who spoke at the event including the chairman, South East Traditional Rulers, Eze Charles Mkpumah and the chairman, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-east, Rev. Abraham Nwali, appealed for the release of Kanu.