The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has urged Imo residents to ignore the sit-at-home order on election day but to come out en mass to cast their votes for any candidate of their choice.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Enugu.
Mr Iwuanyanwu said he had been told that some people had issued threats prohibiting Imo people from coming out to cast their votes by issuing a total sit-at-home order from 9 to 12 November.
The Igbo leader said, “As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I wish to appeal to all the Imo people to turn out en mass to cast their votes for any candidate of their choice.
“If Imo people should comply with this, there will be no election in Imo State and that will create chaos.
“I am therefore with every sense of responsibility and love appealing to the leader of this group to rescind his decision to order a sit-at-home”.
He stated that he had found it very necessary to sound the notice and warning because Igboland had had enough of bloodshed.
According to him, Igbo people fought a civil war which took the lives of millions of their people and also incalculable losses in property.
“We do not want a situation whereby any part of Igboland will be exposed to any type of destructive violence.
“As a father, I prefer a peaceful resolution of all problems. I prefer a non-kinetic approach. It is my belief that all disputes are best resolved over a round-table dialogue.
“Bloodshed and destruction of our property cannot be a solution,” Iwuanyanwu appealed.
The president general described the news being circulated in social media alleging that President Bola Tinubu accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of persuading him not to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from incarceration as false.
“As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I have investigated this matter and found it to be false and malicious in its entirety.
“Uzodinma never held such meeting with President Tinubu. To the contrary, I have held discussions with Uzodinma and the other four governors of the South East, and they all were firmly and irrevocably committed to the release of Nnamdi Kalu from incarceration.
“May I also mention that on July 10, I held a meeting in Abuja with the Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, members of National Assembly, the State Governors and select leaders from the South East and all of them unanimously agreed that Ohanaeze should work towards the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu.
“On that occasion, I was directed as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide to secure an appointment with President Bola Tinubu on this subject.
“I want to confirm that I have already written to Mr President requesting for a meeting with the leaders of the South East and I believe I will be given this opportunity soon,” he said.
He added “For the avoidance of doubt, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, speaking for the entire Igbo, is of the opinion that our son Kanu should be released from incarceration, especially when a court of competent jurisdiction has already ordered his release.
“I will once more appeal to all those concerned to consider it a patriotic duty to rescind the call for a total sit-at-home and also the directive for instant murder of people who violate the sit-at-home-order.
“The information reaching Ohaneze Ndigbo is that a directive has been issued for some homes to be destroyed. I want to believe that this is an ordinary rumour because it is not in our character,” he said.
The Igbo leader requested all sons and daughters of Igboland who were aggrieved one way or the other to sheathe their swords and accept peaceful negotiation.
According to him, experience has shown that violence cannot resolve any problem, most problems are best resolved through peaceful negotiations.
“I am therefore making a passionate appeal to all those concerned to have a ceasefire to give us opportunity to look into the matter.
“I regard everybody in Igboland as my child. I therefore consider it a duty to protect everybody’s interest to the best of my ability,” he said.
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