2023: Ohanaeze youths caution against stoking ethnic tension
The youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, cautioned young people against stoking political tension in the zone, saying that the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and others are free to solicit for votes in the Southeast.
OYC, in a statement by its National President, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, said it was unjustifiable for any person to ban Tinubu or any other person from soliciting for votes in the Southeast.
Recalled that a Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) had asked promoters of the Tinubu candidacy to keep off the zone in their campaign.
Okwu said the Ohanaeze would not sit and allow any form of divisive politics, which he described as the major factor that has kept Nigeria down for such a very long time.
The Ohanaeze youths maintained that every Nigerian reserved the right to campaign for candidates of their choice, by marketing such a person convincingly to the electorate.
He said, “Politics of bitterness and acrimony will not take Nigeria anywhere, especially as the country is presently operating at its lowest ebb. There is no doubt that the country has never been this divided and this is why campaigns should be on issues and not ethnicity.
“Having said this, we make bold to say that Tinubu’s promoters are free to campaign for him anywhere in Igboland. Other presidential candidates should also have a smooth sail in taking their campaign to every part of the country.”
He insisted that Ndigbo remain a very accommodating tribe in Nigeria known for their hospitality, which the region would never be in hurry to lose in spite of any provocation.
“All we demand from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a transparent process through which Nigerians would freely make their choice.
“We advise all interest groups in the South-East, under whatever guise, to exercise restraint and not take actions that would lead to regrets in the future,” he added.