Those calling for a sit-in or boycott of the general elections, according to the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, would be treated as enemies of the Igbo nation.
The forum said on Wednesday that the best chance the South-East has had of producing a Nigerian president since independence in 1960 is in 2023.
The Igbo Elders, which include Chief Simeon Okeke, the former chairman of the Police Service Commission; Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who was governor of Anambra State previously; During a press conference in Abuja, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, a senior lecturer in the Department of Public Administration at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and others issued the warning.
They advised those agitating for Biafra that the best way to achieve their goal would be through their votes rather than bullets and insisted that the general elections should take place in the Southeast.
He stated, “Elections must be held in the South-East.” We urge residents of the Southeast to vote in large numbers on February 25 for their preferred candidates. The Igbo nation will view those calling for a sit-in at home as enemies.
“Don’t forget that your fathers and grandfathers demanded and fought for same Biafra approximately 52 years ago, to those who are calling for a separate country called Biafra. Both combat deaths and starvation caused the deaths of millions. Several of us here were involved in that bloody conflict. What leads you to believe that extreme activism can win that war this time? Guns, armored tanks, and other weapons were used in that war. When deciding how to organize the future for our people, children, and grandchildren, we need to use strategic thinking.
The local elders urged people to follow the global approach and learn from past events and similar circumstances.
He went on to say, “You could make the case that your desire for a separate existence is a fundamental human right.” However, Nigeria is not the only country where people seek a separate existence. Scotland, for example, which is a part of Britain, is trying to live independently. The same is true in Spain, where Barcelona demands the same thing. They are not demanding it by imposing an unnecessary sit-at-home order or by killing and maiming their fellow citizens.
“They do it by actively participating in their country’s general elections, where they sponsor candidates to represent them in parliament and argue their case in a referendum to choose a course of action. Why not follow your request in a civilized manner and take a page from them? Violence, self-sacrifice, and staying at home when parents should be working and children should be in school are never ways to gain Biafra.
A sit-at-home order has been forced on residents of the Southeast. This irregularity must not continue, and it has extended to Election Day, when people are excited to use their votes to express their opinions.
“The combined voices of elders, youths, men and women, as well as our retired military and paramilitary officers, have come out to state unequivocally and reject this situation in its entirety for this reason,” the statement reads.