IPOB’s call for boycott of 2019 polls not in Igbo interest – Prelate
The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Samuel Uche, has urged Ndigbo to ignore the call by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, to boycott the 2019 polls, arguing that the call is not in the best interest of the race.
Uche who gave the advice while addressing a press conference, Monday in Umuahia after his apostolic tour of the Umuahia Archdiocese, noted that though IPOB had genuine reasons to complain, calling for election boycott would be counter productive.
The Prelate who said the marginalisation of Ndigbo by the Nigerian state was too obvious in every sector, however, boycotting the 2019 poll would not server Igbo interest.
He regretted that the Nigerian state had been unfair to Ndigbo despite their contributions towards Nigeria development .
His words :” What caused the civil war has persisted. Nigeria is still afraid of the Igbo. Without sounding imodest, Igbo taught Nigeria civilisation but Nigeria has been unfair to Ndigbo.
” The level of marginalisation of the Igbo is so obvious in every sector. It is unfair that no Igbo man is occupying any position in the top echelon of the countries security apparatus.
” This is part of the reasons IPOB is calling for election boycott but that is not the best for Ndigbo.
” Wars are not settled in battle fields but in round table. If we boycott the election don’t forget that somebody must still be elected, and how will it serve the peoples interest if they are not part of the process.”
The Prelate also declared that any plot to Islamise Nigeria as being insinuated in some quarters would fail.
” If there is any Islamisation agenda it will crash unless they want to set Nigeria on fire. Nobody should attempt to Islamise Nigeria because such attempt will be vigorously resisted “.
The cleric called on Nigerians to see themselves as one people bound together in unity irrespective of their ethnic or religious differences.
He said Nigeria needed a detribalised leader who would see the country as one.
” That is why we need a mature leader not a religious bigot or a tribal leader. We need a mature leader who will be willing to accommodate everybody and treat all as one “.
On the 2019 poll, the Prelate warned against intimidation of the opposition while urging the electoral umpire to maintain neutrality.
He also condemned the refusal of the federal government to release the leader of Shites, El-Zakzaky despite court orders to that effect.
” Nigeria belongs to all of us. Nobody should feel inferior. I condemn the harrassmnet of El-Zakzaky. This is the height of impunity. Nigeria does not obey laws and court orders. “
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