The President-General of Ohanaeze, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, disclosed this on Thursday in Oguta Local Government Area, Imo State, during the flag-off ceremony of Oguta/Orashi Rivers dredging project which was broadcast live on Channels TV, a Lagos State-based television station.
Mr Buhari was represented at the event by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.
“Our vice-president, tell our brother and our son, Buhari, that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, (made up of) over 60 million Igbos, requests that he should release Nnamdi Kanu,” Mr Iwuanyanwu said at the gathering.
He dismissed claims that the Igbo-speaking people of the South-east would secede from Nigeria if the IPOB leader was released.
“Igbos are not seceding (from Nigeria). I don’t see why anybody should say Igbos are seceding. Igbos are everywhere. We have investments. Are we going to leave our investments (by seceding)?” he said.
Mr Iwuanyanwu said he was passing the message to Mr Buhari because the president had been given honourary membership in the Ohanaeze and therefore under his (Iwuanyanwu’s) authority despite being Nigeria’s president.
“I am now telling him (Buhari) that Nnamdi Kanu should be released before he (Buhari) departs office,” he added.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo groups have repeatedly asked Mr Buhari to release Mr Kanu who has been in the custody of Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS).
Mr Iwuanyanwu, shortly after emerging as the new president-general of the Ohanaeze last month, resolved to meet with Mr Buhari to secure the release of the IPOB leader.