Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has alleged that the South East Governors are working for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buahri against the Atiku/Obi presidential ambition because of their quest for second tenure in office by all means.
He maintained IPOB’s stand on the boycott of the forthcoming general elections and their demand for a referendum for Biafra’s exit from Nigeria, due to marginalisation of the people of the area over the years.
In his broadcast, yesterday, from Israel, Kanu said Nigeria, over the years, had failed to conduct free, fair and credible election and wondered how anyone expects to vote in an election where the outcome is a forgone conclusion.
He said: “It is shameful and very sad for any observer of what is happening to the East and, especially, Igbo people. If you are not mentally tough, you might be tempted to throw in the towel in surrender to Fulani hegemony, giving the conduct of some Igbo politicians. Admittedly, some politicians show the potential of being reliable, however, as one intelligent man put it, “politicians are often victims of linear thinking and logic.
“IPOB has proved that there are other centres of influence and power in the East. Those hoping that Atiku will sweep Biafraland because of the Obi factor are misguided, because almost every governor in the South East is working for Jubril/ Buhari. What a shame. Even Soludo of all people is working for Buhari.
“IPOB is not backing down on the boycott. Never!!. In the immediate past few years, IPOB has proven that, other than politicians, there are other centres of influence and power in Southeast and parts of South South.
“So, this current path we have chosen – the path of boycotting the 2019 elections – is a well considered one, geared to leaving no one in doubt that we mean business. We know some people are wondering what IPOB expects to gain when it refuses to participate in elections.
“I’m keenly aware that, at first, the logic of a boycott makes little sense to many. Some have said by participating in elections, IPOB will have a chance of helping to elect politicians amenable to self-determination and ultimately a referendum. Well, that’s true, but, only in theory. In practice, experience has shown that votes hardly count in Nigeria; and where they may count, we have not yet seen any candidate willing to commit to the changes we demand, such that the boycott could be reconsidered as a whole, or piecemeal for such candidate”.
“Suffice it to say, therefore, that it is the real and recurring threats to the fairness of elections in Nigeria that constitute one of the primary reasons that IPOB has chosen the path of boycotting elections. So, inasmuch as the boycott may not succeed in truncating the election in the short term, the long benefits are legion.
“The downside of a boycott is of course very obvious; when an election is boycotted, the incumbent is much more likely to win that election. Yet, the upside is that when a popular mass movement, such as IPOB boycotts an election, it denies the government the legitimacy derived from the results of such election. That’s enough for us and that’s enough for the international community that monitors these things.
“The point of what I have been saying is simple: The raging debate issuing from IPOB’s decision to boycott the 2019 elections should not be about the pros and cons, rather, those who know that the boycott will hurt them should direct their energy to consideration of the political concessions that can be made to IPOB to persuade it to call off the boycott.”
“The Nigeria they are asking us to participate in their elections doesn’t even know the meaning of separation of powers because Nigeria is a backward Fulani enclave under neocolonial influence. What I find mentally debilitating is our inability as a group of people to rise to the occasion and take back the power we have so freely, for years, vested in the hands of people who are not educated enough to hold high public office.”
“The fact still remains that what happens in Nigeria is selection not election if not why would Dave Umahi in PDP be campaigning for a murderous APC government that killed his own people…”