The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization in Nigeria, Ohaneze Ndigbo has reacted to reports that the army has been given a marching order to clamp down on IPOB members during the 2019 general elections.
We recalls the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, had ordered formation commanders in the South-east to clampdown on all splinter groups in the region threatening to disrupt the 2019 Elections.
He gave the order while speaking at the Chief of Army Staff Operations Conference, a meeting which brought together the army’s apex administrative and operational commanders nationwide.
However, a statement signed by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide as obtained by this online medium on Tuesday, says the military directive should not be allowed to prevent voters from coming out to cast their votes.
It further expressed hope that the order will not result in violent clashes in the region.
Read the full statement below:
“Our attention has been drawn to the marching orders given by the Chief of Army staff to Division and Garrison Commanders in the South East of Nigeria to go after IPOB members in the region in order to forestall their threat to boycott the forthcoming general elections and instead hold their own referendum.”
“Ohaneze is disturbed that this kind of order might be misconstrued to execute carnage, drowning in shallow water and inhuman and degrading treatment on our youths as happened in the last operation python dance in Abia State.”
“IPOB remains a peaceful organization championing self-determination. Their last threat for boycott of Anambra State elections witnessed no violence but instead, we saw a higher turnout of voters than in the previous elections. The army did not order any such operation then as they are ordering now.”
“We hope this operation is not aimed at scaring the people of the South East from coming out to cast their votes.”
“We should be allowed to use our traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to restrain our children.”
Recall we previously reported that the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has also fixed February 16 for the conduct of a referendum on the declaration of a sovereign Biafra, same date as scheduled for Nigeria’s presidential and national assembly elections.
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