In the bid to ensure no Nigerians are disenfranchised in the forthcoming polls, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his influence to quell IPOB and other agitations likely to prevent Nigerians from exercising their constitutional rights in the country.
While responding to allegations of attacks on INEC facilities, the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday reiterated its unconcern for the forthcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria which it described as a jamboree, saying all it wanted was a referendum that will decide the fate of Biafran Republic.
The Biafran agitators in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said the only thing the group wanted was a date for a referendum for the Igbos to exit the country.
This threat followed an alarm raised by Inspection General of Police, Usman Allkali Baba, saying some Yoruba Nation agitators were planning to scuttle the forthcoming elections in the South-West of the country.
Alarmed by the tendency of these agitators to prevent Nigerians from exercising their rights to vote during elections, the Northern Elders in a statement issued by its spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed on Tuesday, lamented the deafening silence from leaders, elders and politicians from the region and other parts of Nigeria over these dangerous threats which it tagged as deeply disturbing.
The forum stressed its readiness for peaceful elections this month, saying no one should be allowed to plunge Nigeria into further chaos by threatening voters.
It therefore challenged the Nigerian government on decisive actions to prevent electoral sabotage, adding, that leaders must also openly condemn the atrocities committed by agitators in different parts of the country.
The statement read in part: “These threats are being followed by actual attacks on government buildings and killings, including killing of policemen in the region. Without a robust challenge of these dangerous trends, those behind these lawless acts are likely to assume that they will succeed.
“Any attempt to interfere in the rights of Nigerians to participate in the election of their leaders is a serious assault on the sovereignty of Nigeria and an act that must be resisted.
“The forum calls on the administration of President Buhari to assert its legitimate authority on any lawless group in any part of the country and ensure that voters are not prevented or threatened.”
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