Don’t boycott polls, it’s counter productive Ohanaeze youths beg IPOB
* Says its open invitation to military to invade Igbo land again
By Steve Oko
The Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing has pleaded with the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to shelve its call for referendum on February 16 and participate in the presidential poll scheduled for the same day.
This appeal is coming on the heels of persistent call by IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi kanu for the boycott of the presidential poll.
IPOB has also fixed February 16 as date for Biafra referendum, urging Biafrans to stay indoors and away from polling booths as that will amount to ‘yes vote ‘ for referendum.
But Ohanaeze youths said that the boycott option would not serve Igbo interest, instead, it would be counter productive .
OYC said the boycott and referendum ideology amounts to open invitation to the military for another invasion of Igbo land which has bitter consequences.
“Scheduling referendum on the same day Nigeria election date was more or less asking for confrontation with the security agencies which could result to slaughter of innocent Igbo youths once again”, OYC said.
OYC recalled that Ndigbo are yet to recover from the 2006 census boycott ordered by Chief Ralph Uwazurike’s Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB .
The Igbo youth body argued that it made no sense putting Ndigbo into more bondage due to rash decisions not based on sound reasoning.
OYC in a press statement issued in Enugu by its National leader , Chief Arthur Obiora, said called on IPOB leadership to listen to voice of reasoning and rescind the call for poll boycott.
The statement obtained by Wawa News Global read in part :“While we would not subscribe to any form of carnage by the military in our land in the name of suppressing unarmed pro-Biafra agitators; our considered opinion is that IPOB members by their utterances and open threats are giving the military justifiable reason to flood Igbo land with soldiers.
“We appeal to any persons who have access to their leadership to let them know that they are missing it. The truth is that referendum is not the solution to the problems bedeviling us as a race in Nigeria; rather, it would compound our woes as marginalised people in the Nigerian system.
“We would not want a repeat of the visionless order for the boycott of the 2006 national head-count by the then leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, which the Igbo would ever live to regret.”
Ohanaeze youths also aligned with the position of its parent body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, saying restructuring which Atiku promised is badly needed in Nigeria.
OYC, therefore, urged Ndigbo at home and abroad to participate actively in the forthcoming elections and vote out bad leadership.
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