An Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ndigbo United Forum (NUF), has warned against interference and disruption of the coming November 6th Governorship election in Anambra State under whatever guise.
The group tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible exercise ahead of the November 6th gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
The NUF’s warning is coming against the backdrop of the threat and exchange of political brickbats by groups and politicians ahead of the gubernatorial poll in Anambra.
In a release by its Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Chinedu Mba and sent to the media on Friday night, the group reminded political actors that Anambra, just like every other Igbo state, is too important to trifle with, cautioning them to refrain from violent tendencies capable of causing chaos and anarchy.
The NUF called on all fighters and promoters of Igbo cause, particularly, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to encourage a record turnout for the forthcoming election, so that Anambra and Igbos by extension will come out en masses to elect their leader by themselves.
According to the ethnic organization, “the lockdown threats on the election day, is very troubling to all ears. However, we consider it a rumour that would be jettisoned in due time; for we have confidence in the ability of our youths to reach a sound judgement; no matter how much annoyed they are.
“The legacy of our brave ancestors, which late Dim Odumegwu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu embodied and exemplified in the form of a political movement – Igbo party, must be carefully considered and respected”.
The NUF also frowned at the unguarded utterances by some politicians and groups which has instilled fear in people, reassuring the Anambra electorates that their safety is guaranteed on the election day.
It stated, “NUF would be overjoyed to see a reversal of the unguarded utterances and rhetoric from various corners, in respect to the Anambra election. And, we are banking our hopes on a very solid foundation. We cannot afford to shoot ourselves in the feet, whilst trying to fight for ourselves. We must allow Superior Reason and Cool Headedness to guide our choice of words and actions.
“In our bid to fight for ourselves, we must ensure that we don’t give room for enemies of Ndigbo to assail us. We are in a battle quite alright, but we need to apply wisdom and stealth in order not to end up offering our enemies a cheap victory in a platter”.
The NUF further reiterated her call on INEC, Security operatives, and other interested parties, to ensure that the Anambra State election must reflect, in its entirety, the global best practices; any attempt to defile the sanctity of a free and fair election would be roundly resisted by Igbo nation.
According to the statement,”Let it serve as a litmus test for the good change we have been yearning for in Nigeria’s electoral sector. Let the election be remarkable both in appearance and reality. Anyone, or any group of people, suggesting that we fold our arms and watch Anambra degenerate into a rudderless ship, is not advocating a good thing for the Igbo nation.
“The sanctity of electoral autonomy and freedom for all Igbo enclave is sacrosanct, and as such, must be protected by all means. That is who we are, free people!
“Granted that we are being marginalized and shortchanged; granted that marginalization has subsisted for a very long time; granted that there is an urgent need for Ndigbo to rally round together and fight the injustice, but trying to stop the gubernatorial election is not an acceptable means of fighting the injustice against us”.
The NUF also disclosed that it has mobilized members across the 21 local government areas in Anambra state to complement sound monitoring efforts.
“We won’t be observing from afar, rather, we are fully on ground to monitor the electoral proceedings. We are strongly committed to ensuring that due diligence is strictly adhered to.
“As a universally acknowledged proud, egalitarian, utilitarian, republican and peaceful tribe, all hands must be on deck to ensure a seamless electoral process that will culminate in the election of a popular candidate. A candidate that will key into the collective Igbo cause of furthering our lots as a vibrant people.
“All agitations, misunderstanding, rancour and wrangling, must not be allowed to grow taller than the need for a peaceful and transparent election. At this point, we must do well to eschew undue sentiments and rash opinions,” the socio-cultural body in Igboland concluded.
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