From Ifeoma Ejiofor
Ahead the February 25 presidential election, Igbo Elders have drummed support for the candidate of Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Obi.
They also warned Biafra aggitators against killing and maiming their fellow country men.
The elders’ position was contained in a press release presented by the former chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC) Chief Simon Okeke.
The former police boss pointed out that the February 25 presidential election presented the best opportunity for an Igbo man to assume the office of the president since 1960.
“Since our Independence in October 1960, this is the best chance of South East to produce a President. Both North, East and West have come to accept that our son Peter Obi is the best out of all the Presidential candidates canvassing for votes to win the presidential election on 25th February 2023.
“Any Onye Igbo thinking otherwise or standing on the fence may be of doubtful genealogy and needs to submits to DNA for proper proof of his or her true parentage. We request that you come out and be part of the history to vote in Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed to take the mantle of leadership and rebuild our badly divided country, to save the boat from sinking.
“We need your votes not bullets. In a democracy, your vote is your weapon, not bullet or sit-at-home.
Peter Obi is Primus inter pares i.e 1st among equals, you use your vote to get what you want.
Only your votes will make the president we need.
You vote in the person you trust will help you get who or what you want. You vote in the person who is sympathetic to your cause. Let us move enmass and cast our votes to Labour’s Obi-Datti Box
Your vote works better than the bullet from the gun. It is better you are alive to achieve your desire in peace. Best way to achieve a purpose is by use of your vote. The peace you achieve with bullets from the gun is the peace of a grave yard.
“Your vote does a better job than the bullet from the barrel of the gun. If you fail to come and vote you perpetuate your problems and your detractors will mock and lord it over you until the next election (in 4 years) when you may have a chance to change your situation, using your vote to vote in your choice candidates. If you don’t vote, those you regard as your oppressors, who have denied you your rights will be voted in again and you will continue to grumble. Your one vote can change the fortune of this great country. Let your vote and my vote speak eloquently that Nigeria today needs OBI-DATTI Presidency.” Chief Okeke explained.
The Elders expressed worry that the South Easterners have changed drastically from what they were known for, noting that Igboland had the tradition of peace and tranquility, industry, academic adventurism and culture of family wellbeing.
“Today, a small clique of misguided persons mostly youths, has inflicted mayhem and blood letting to contaminate the orderly life of Ndigbo to the extent that one cannot freely go about one’s daily pursuits. People of the South East have been cowed into submitting to a sit at-home order.
“This irregularity which has also been extended to the election day, when people are looking forward to using their vote to speak their mind, must not be allowed to happen.
“It is for this reason that the combined voices of elders, youths, men, women and our retired military and paramilitary officers have come out to state unequivocally and reject this situation in its entirety.
“We must speak up against those who say there should be no elections. Elections in the South East must hold. We call on the people of the South East to come out en masse on the 25th February, to vote and vote in candidates of their choice.” He said.
The Elders saluted the South East Royal fathers for their recent pronouncement assuring all of their subjects of safety on the election days.
They also applauded President Muhamadu Buhari for his recent assurance that the government has taken adequate security measures to allow everyone to come out and cast their votes” freely without any intimidation.
On the demand and quest for Biafra, the elders admonished the aggitators to remember how millions of people died in action and starvation fifty two years ago.
“Some of us participated in that bloody war. What makes you believe that you can win that war this time through extreme activism? That war was fought with guns armoured tanks etc. We must think strategically in determining how to structure the future for our people, children and grandchildren.
“The quest for separate existence is not restricted to Nigeria, In Britain for instance, Scotland which is part of that country is seeking a separate existence. So also, is the case with Spain where Barcelona is demanding same. None of them is demanding it by killing and maiming their fellow country men and women or by imposing a needless sit-at-home order or carrying out unspeakable acts of violence and destruction against their own people.
“They do it by participating actively in their country’s general elections where they sponsor candidates that will be their voice in their parliament where they argue their case and push it via a referendum to decide which way to go.” The Elders insisted.
The press release was signed by Chief S. N. Okeke(OFR), Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. Ihechukwu Maduike, Nze Fidelis Ozichukwu, Prof. Charles Nwokeaku, Barr. Onrou Arua, Brig-Gen. Austin Egwuagu (Rtd), Maj-Gen. Lincoln Ogunewe(Rtd) and AVM Osita Obierika on behalf of the Elders.