Ohanaeze Ndigbo, weekend, urged people of the old Eastern Region to disregard the sit-at-home orders and curfews imposed by Mr Simon Ekpa, factional leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Ekpa had in a viral video imposed the orders on the states of South-East Nigeria and some other parts of the old Eastern Region aimed at boycotting the 2023 general elections. He mentioned 23rd Feb to 28th Feb, 2023 as the days to observe the orders. Meanwhile, Nigeria holds her presidential and National Assembly elections on 25th Feb.
Ohanaeze made its position known after the emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held in Enugu on Friday. It was presided over by Ambassador Okey Emuchay, its secretary general.
A release by Dr Alex Ogbonnia, the national publicity secretary of Ohanaeze, stated that, “The NEC elaborated on a few issues of national interest. The most worrisome is the sit-at-home and total lock-down order to the Igbo by one Mr Simon Ekpa, who is based in Finland.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed both shock and doubt that a true Igbo will unconscionably embark on a disingenuous duplicitous adventure that is aimed at denigrating, disenfranchising and decimating his people.
“The most disturbing is that the unscrupulous sit-at-home and total lock-down order by Ekpa falls within the Nigeria’s general election.
“Ohanaeze stands firmly on natural justice and equity to proclaim that it is the turn of the South East of Nigeria to produce a president for Nigeria and by the irrevocable forces of providence, the right thinking Nigerians and the global community have embraced the virtues in Peter Obi as the most suitable, competent, visionary, inspiring and energetic presidential candidate for the forthcoming general election.
“It is therefore strange that an impetuous youth will engage in an unreflective drum-beat that draws his people to a macabre dance.
“It is also curious that while the media and publicity secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, has dissociated IPOB from any sit-at-home in the South East during the election period, urging residents to disregard the rumoured order making the rounds by Ekpa, and that ‘IPOB is only interested in the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’, Ekpa ignores the necessary landing permit by his people.
“Ohanaeze therefore urges the residents in Igbo land to ignore the sit-at-home in its entirety. Ohanaeze Ndigbo commends the interventions with the Finish ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen, by Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs; IGP Usman Baba, Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor, Igbo Union in Finland, the general public, especially the youths, and the reassurances of President Muhammadu Buhari with respect to security and a free and fair election in 2023.”
Our correspodent reports that the NEC used the opportunity to pass a vote of confidence on the secretary general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, and its national publicity secretary, Dr Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, for ‘their selfless services for the Igbo nation’.