Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Worried over threats by some criminals to stop the forthcoming elections in South-East, a coalition of pro-Biafra groups, has launched a manhunt on those behind the threats.
The coalition under the auspices of Biafra Land Defenders, vowed never to allow hoodlums to scuttle the bright chances of Ndigbo to produce the Nigerian President.
Addressing a press conference in Aba, Abia State, the pro-Biafra groups said they would not sit and watch enemies of Ndigbo to hide under the cover of Biafra agitation to diminish the chances of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
According to the coalition, any person or group calling for the boycott of the polls or ordering a senseless sit-at-home in the South-East during the forthcoming crucial elections is worse than an enemy, and should be treated as such.
Leader of the coalition, Ndubuisi Igwekani, who addressed newsmen in Aba, Abia State, said that anybody caught trying to scuttle the forthcoming elections in the South-East, would be treated as “both enemy and criminal.”
“We have started the enforcement of the anti-sit-at-home in the South-East and against all the violent threats against election in our land.
“All the criminals who hide under one programme or agitation to cause havoc in the South-East, kidnapping and destruction of lives and properties should be aware that the operation has started today, 22nd February 2023.
“Everybody should not fear any criminal threatening our people because anyone of them caught in our of territory will have themselves to blame. I assure our people that nobody born by a woman will ever try to stop those that are coming out to vote and go free.
“We’ll never give them such space again. Enough is enough. We’re urging our all our people, our mothers, our fathers, our brethren in whatever Igbo community where they dwell to comfortably come out and vote for the candidate of their choice.
“Let Onitsha Main Market traders, Ariaria International Market traders, Nkwor Nnewi traders, Ochanja, Cemetery, Ahia-Ohuru, Eke-Ukwu, Ogbete traders and traders in Igboland get ready to vote,” he said.
The pro-Biafra groups said that the 2023 elections were the last opportunity they “are giving the Nigeria Government to prove that the country is redeemable.”
“Now that the Nigerian youths are rallying round Mr Peter Obi to help them to redeem the country and push it from consumption to production, all the people who love peace and want the betterment of the people have to key in and ensure that they vote, defend their votes and ensure their votes count.”
Continuing, the coalition said: “The reason why some of us decided to agitate for a sovereign state of Biafra is that Nigeria was not made to be a level playing ground for all the ethnic groups and allow everybody to have a sense of belonging where someone will get whatever he merits and not by whom he knows.
“This and other problems have been setting Nigeria backwards over the years and there seems to be an opportunity to give it a trial for the last time. We’ve said earlier that if Nigeria is not ready to be redeemed we’re also not ready to collapse with her.
“We don’t want to be the people that’ll make our own son lose the election in his own region.
“We can’t allow any criminal group to do that here. There must be a free, fair and peaceful election in the South-East,” the coalition vowed.
The coalition warned that anybody who tries to intimidate voters from exercising their civic responsibilities would have oneself to blame.