By Chuks Eke
The United Igbo Elders Forum, UIEF,(worldwide), an umbrella body of all Igbo elder statesmen, critical/major stakeholders, opinion leaders and leaders of thought both at home and in the diaspora has enjoined traditional rulers, town union leaders and other stakeholders in Igbo land to join hands in search of a referendum.
UIEF also enjoined these class of Igbo leaders to speak with one voice in the calls for the release of the detained leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Coordinator-General of UIEF, His Lordship, Justice Alpha Ikpeama who made the call in a press statement issued yesterday in Onitsha, said the referendum, if conducted, would determine the future of Igbo nation.
He contended that the search for referendum should not be left for Nnamdu Kanu alone, adding that it is high time all Igbo stakeholders, royal fathers, religious leaders and town union leaders in Igbo land should wake up from slumber and unanimously go for referendum as a determinant factor for the future of Igbo nation.
He said the call for the release of Kanu, as contained is the Appeal Court judgement should be collective and an individual effort, adding that any individual or governor pushing for Kanu”s release alone is just committing abracadabra because it would look as if a lone voice is crying in the wilderness.
According to the statement, “the only way out is not election in Igbo land but a referendum to determine the position of Ndigbo but all the same, anybody saying no election in Igbo land is bringing a reproach to the Igbo nation”.
“Even the late elder statesman and political grandfather of Igbo nation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi of the blessed memory did not fight for Kanu’s release alone. Again, we will continue to agitate for the release of Kanu from where Mbazulike stopped, so long as Kanu is still in prison”.
“Mbazulike’s spirit will never take final rest unless Kanu is released because that was his last wish before his demise and the authorities concerned should grant that last wish to him to enable his spirit take final rest and we thank him for finishing strong”.
Ndigbo should come out enmasse and vote massively for any candidate of their choice. I am also pleading with INEC to ensure a free and fair election as it is the only way the future of the Nigerian nation could be determined”.
“We want the Christian Association of Clergies to join in praying and fasting with the likes of Enenche of the Dunamis, Adeboye of the Redeemed, Oyedepo of the Winners, for a peaceful election and unity of Nigerian nation, pending when the referendum will be conducted”.
” We commend the likes of Obasanjo, Adebanjo, Edwin Clarke and Ango Abdullahi for their unflinching support in fighting for the unity of the nation and if we want justice and equity, to prevail in a nation that has north and south, Muslim and Christianity, power should rotate among the muslims and Christians, north and south at one time or the other”.