Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemns calls for boycott of election
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday said call by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for boycott of Saturday’s governorship election was “criminal”.
The group warned that the state could descend into anarchy if the electorate failed to vote during the exercise.
It also said that withdrawal by the police of Governor Willie Obiano’s security aide could put the election in danger, cautioning the Federal Government to avoid acts capable of derailing democracy in the state.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who addressed journalists in Enugu, said the organisation was worried about developments in the countdown to the election.
Nwodo said: “It is not in the interest of Anambra people for you to tell them not to go and vote. If they do not vote, there will be anarchy because the constitution does not leave any option except a state of emergency. IPOB has argued in the past that if there is no election, the Speaker of the House of Assembly will become governor.
“That is a product of lack of sufficient knowledge and information. If you look at the constitution of Nigeria, it considers the Speaker only in one circumstance. And that is when the governor dies, is incapacitated or is impeached or removed from office without having a deputy governor. Then, the Speaker can become governor, and he will only be in office for three months. And within those three months, an election must be held for governor.
“We will end up having a sole administrator and Anambra will be ruled for as long as the Federal Government considers suitable till an election holds. The constitution does not give the President an injunction as to where he should recruit a sole administrator in the case of a state of emergency. So, he can bring somebody from Katsina to become governor. And he will rule as an administrator, not as a governor under democracy, in terms of rules of engagement. Anambra will be like a military government in a democracy. Who will wish that kind of thing?”
He continued: “Those who are wishing that elections be boycotted in Anambra do not have the capacity to face the people; otherwise what they should have done is adopt a candidate for the election. To go to the public and say that they should not come out to vote or that if they vote they will die is criminal. That is incitement in criminal law; it is an attempt to kill. And when the security apparatus comes upon them, they will say they are using security to muzzle them down. I advise the young people who are being encouraged to do such unlawful thing to retrace their steps.”
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