We, the members of the Igbo youths independent command organ Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC (Worldwide) met (today) in Ukpor, Anambra state and reviewed the processes and state of things as it concerns the 2015 general elections and after thorough investigations; realized that many electorate stand disfranchised if election is to come as presently staggered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC especially the millions of the Igbo nations residing across the federation that are now returning home (in drove) for of fears election hiccups and ethnic killings that may follow it as witnessed after 2011 presidential election.
No one needs be told that these fears are real when compared with the fear that made Presidential candidates for the first time in Nigeria history moved to sign peace and sportsmanship accord. Politics aside, we have seen reasons to agree with the suggestion made by the National Security Adviser, NSA Col. Dambo Dasuki, rtd, that inability of the INEC to distribute PVC cards accordingly is enough basis to postpone the February 2015 slated general elections. It has nothing to do with the ruling party as alleged by some Nigerians and oppositions because it comes from open-source intelligence. We must submit that we looked at the INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega with suspect that he should after taking INEC PVC cards to his Northern kinsmen at the concentration camps in Northeast because of Boko Haram terrorism, security tensions and instability that they may vote, and at the same time saying that those who leave their place of registrations will not vote. Of course he was referring to Igbo who elections induced tensions, terrorism and insecurity have seen returning home in drove.
If it goes this way more than 20 millions Ndi Igbo residing outside Igboland will be disfranchised as they are now making home in multitude. On this note, we call for the postponement of the February slated 2015 general elections by INEC to enable our Igbo and other nationality groups forced by ethnic tensions, instability and terrorism do the statutorily provided voters card transfer. Transfer of voters card is constitutionally provided unlike taking PVC cards to concentration camps based political expediency. We know what this millions of Igbo votes would add to presidential elections decide and Igbo has a say on who wins. In Lagos for instance, Igbo are 43% of Lagos residence and if this is applied to Lagos 4 million plus electorate figures it means that about 2 million Igbo in Lagos may not vote in 2015 general elections as they now, like their siblings across the nation are leaving in exodus for fear of post elections killings that has always seen the Igbo killed in thousands with props destroyed.
We, hereby call upon the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency and state interest intervene directing INEC to postpone the February slated general election that our people would not be disfranchised in millions. We also decided that we may seek legal redress to stop the present INEC election time table if Prof. Jega decides to go on with elections he has like packs of cards loaded the way it will fall. We shall mobilize Igbo nation to boycott and resist the INEC slated February general elections on the ground that it will disenfranchise us in millions that we shall make use of our voting strength when INEC eventually and appropriately conduct elections that Igbo will participate. Nigeria has nothing to lose if this constitutionally provided transfer of voters’ card is allowed since it will help bring out more participatory electoral democracy. We wondered on how PVC cards are accordingly delivered in the terrorism hooked North-east even to the concentration camps and the same INEC cannot do so in the peaceful Southern Nigeria? Who is fooling who? Who collected those of the millions of Ndi Igbo that have departed the terrorism stricken North-east?
Moreover, we have heard threats and counter-threats across the nation over which region loses or wins the 2015 presidential elections. We call upon President Goodluck Jonathan to as a matter of urgency make sure that security is biffed-up before, during and after elections to avoid post-election killings by those who assumed that others are junior partners in Nigerian nationality and cannot rule them and not to go reactionary as seen after 2011 presidential elections. This also may allay the fears of those making home in drove especially Ndi Igbo that they may choose to stay to vote massively for those they like at all the stages of elections.
We condemn the incessant calls by Mujaheed Asari Dokubo and Chief Ralph Uwazurike including those been made by Pro-Biafran groups and activists and Radio Biafra London that Igbo must leave North now; on the ground that it is unintelligence creating ill-feeling and unnecessary tension that may see the Igbo not voting in where they registered and as well boxing selves home that if troubles come, they will come to us as it happened during Biafra war seeing us fighting great but losing because it were all out defensive war.
We have to learn from the Arabs and Israelis that despite their mutual destructive politics and nationalism they still leave within each other’s territory pushing self-assertion and determination nationalism for the glory and civilisation of their respective universe. We have to learn from history that the major reason why Republic of Biafra failed in the phase one push was because we boxed ourselves into one haven and we are attacked from all axis and could not withstood defensive lone option war strategy.
The neo-Biafra agitators and restoration pushers should help see reason in this direction and accept that we should make use of our (Igbo’s) everywhere presence to push Igbo homecoming and human bound civilization making peace with humanity of all and negotiating our nationality interest anywhere we are from point of Ilu Igbo wisdom: “Where one leaves, he defends”. Suffice to say, we prescribe enterprising spirit, good neighbourhood and ethnic harmony that will translate good to collective humanity and Igbo (nation) rising; and live making astute rejection of any anti-Igbo social capacity irrespective of where it comes.
Forthrightly, we are of the opinion that if security, planning and logistics are adequately provided even if it has to do with the engagement of the military let it be – so far it will take such to preempt and forestall post elections violence and ethnic cleansing that may see the Igbo – the only most travelled Nigerians unsafe. It is not enough for people and political parties to call the deployment of military that have worked wonders for both the ruling and opposition parties “militarization of democracy” when we know that we are in a terrorism stricken state and a society neck deep in political corruption that knows no bound.
Furthermore, we salute the courage and services of the Nigerian police, Military, State Security Services, SSS, Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA and other security networks dying and suffering to keep guards. Terrorism has not been fought and won anywhere in the world. It is all about containments and countermands that take waxed diplomacy, intelligence, logistics and strategies to make society more enabling. Meanwhile, the ability to belt terrorism up North-east and always forestalling and preempting several attempts to infiltrate and or extend it to other regions when we knew that it is happening all round the parts of the world even the West including deep into the heart of United Sates of America is enough credit to President Goodluck Jonathan, Military, Police, SSS, NIA and other Security men and networks.
These security men are the ones we impugned are not to die needless deaths because of avoidable elections induced violence in 2015 general elections if we reason and prepared well. It is not good for those who offered to serve and protect the nation when we are living in our homes and comfort zones strategizing to leave behind families, businesses and legacy in solid states to die needless death and or maimed. We have nothing to lose if February2015 slated general elections that may see us losing all together is shifted.
However, we shall reiterate the call for a Sovereign National Conference is had there will not be an end to Nigeria political instability, menaces of inequality in Nigeria nationality and divisive spirituality. We must review Berlinization of Africa and it shall not be well with Africa until we, Africans, extricate ourselves and universe from divisive imperial geography and polity without territorial nationalism. To Nigerians, we on behalf of the Igbo Nation warn: “Plantain told the Squirrel that if it perch on it and keeps quiet, it will live and it will also live, but if it ignores its proposition, it will die and the hunter will take its leaves to wrap its meat”. Nigerians, a word is enough for the wise!
For: OHANAEZE YOUTH COUNCIL, OYC (Worldwide).
Mazi Okwu Okwu Mazi Uzochukwu .C. Uzochukwu
Secretary, BoT OYC Secretary General, OYC\
Mazi Francis Oji