Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the foremost Igbo socio-cultural organization, has once more urged residents of the South-East to defy a call to stay at home during the 2023 elections by an anti-Igbo party.
During an urgent meeting of the organisation’s National Executive Committee on Friday in Enugu, the group made the appeal in a statement released and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia.
Amb. Okey Emuchay, the organization’s secretary general, presided over the meeting.
Ogbonnia claimed that the NEC discussed several matters of national importance in depth and came to some significant decisions.
According to him, the most worrisome among them was the sit-at-home and total lockdown order to the Igbo by one Simon Ekpa, who is based in Finland.
He said, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo expresses shock and doubt that a true Igbo would unconscionably embark on a disingenuous duplicitous adventure aimed at denigrating, disenfranchising and decimating his people.
“The most disturbing is that the unscrupulous sit-at-home and total lockdown order by Ekpa fall within the Nigerian general election.
“Ohanaeze stands firmly on natural justice and equity to proclaim that it is the turn of the South-East of Nigeria to produce a president for Nigeria and by the irrevocable forces of providence.
“It is therefore strange that at the very rare consensus and convergence of history, equity, public consciousness and expertise in Obi, an impetuous youth will engage in an unreflective drum-beat that draws his people to a macabre dance,” he added.
Ohanaeze also expressed curiosity that the IPOB media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, had distanced IPOB from any South-East sit-at-home protests during the election season.
“We are urging residents to disregard the rumoured order making the rounds by the Simon Ekpa” and that “IPOB is only interested in the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”.
“The autopilot ignores the necessary landing permit by his people and Ohanaeze, therefore, urges the residents in Igboland to ignore the sit at home in its entirety,” Ogbonnia said.
Earlier in the week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday summoned the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, over “hate speech and incitive comments” by a Nigerian-Finnish lawyer and Biafra agitator, Simon Ekpa.
The Ekpa-led faction of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra had reportedly declared that elections will not be allowed to hold in the South-East and had ordered sit-at-home during elections.
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