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Igbo groups denounce Kanu’s call to boycott 2019 polls


A supporter of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu holds a photograph of Kanu, who is expected to appear at a magistrate court, during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria December 1, 2015. Kanu – an activist who divides his time between the UK and Nigeria, spreading his ethos on social media and Radio Biafra – was arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

A coalition of Igbo youths and women organisations yesterday disassociated themselves from leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu’s recent broadcast that the 2019 general election should not hold in the South East and South South.

They described Kanu’s outbursts as ‘valueless and meaningless.’

Also, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) led by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzori has exonerated South East Governors from assassination allegations by Kanu, saying the governors’ interest was to ensure that tensions that resulted in the killings of unarmed Biafrans ended.

In a joint statement issued by President, World Igbo Youths Congress, Alex Okemiri, Leader, South East Women Professionals, Dr. Helen Ogbonnaya and President, Igbo Students Forum (ISF), Chidera Utucha, after their meeting In Abakiliki, the coalition condemned Kanu for his comment.

They noted that they have withdrawn their support for Kanu’s planned return to the country.

While maintaining that the IPOB leader have depreciated in value among his followers, they urged the South East region to ignore his call and vote in next year’s election, alleging that Kanu was working for President Muhammadu Buhari and not the interest of Ndigbo.

The coalition urged Igbo stakeholders to revive the spirit of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as it failed to hold the annual Igbo day celebration, which used to hold on September 29 every year, adding that the South East governors should start restructuring Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as it had been commercialised.

“After a careful review of Kanu’s modus operandi, during the last Anambra Governorship election, where Kanu insisted that there would be no election in March, but after Governor Willie Obiano compromised him, Kanu pulled voters who would have voted against the governor out of polling units and discouraged others from voting, which gave Obiano victory in 17 local government areas of Anambra.

“We believe that Kanu’s reappearance and his opposition to elections in 2019, shows that he is working for the victory of South East Govs and President Buhari against Atiku Abubakar,” the statement reads.

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