The apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of plotting to subvert the civic rights of Igbos in the 2023 general elections.
Ohanaeze’s Secretary-General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, accused INEC’s National Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood and the spokesman of the Commission, Festus Okoye of attempting to subvert the 2023 elections by disenfranchising the Igbos.
Isiguzoro claimed that the Chairman of INEC was plotting to stifle the chances of the Southeast in the 2023 general elections.
In a statement he signed, the Ohanaeze’s Secretary-General wondered why thugs invaded INEC’s registration centres Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State to allegedly disperse Igbo traders trying to get their Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs.
He wondered why the incident happened barely 24 hours after Bola Tinubu emerged the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate.
Isiguzoro said his comment has “been necessitated by confirmed reports that multitudes of area boys at Igbede in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos besieged the INEC approved registration centre to disperse Igbo traders who closed their shops to partake in their civic responsibility.
”We have it on good record that some of them carted away INEC registration machines. All these are geared towards making Ndigbo scapegoats in the build-up to the 2023 General Elections. But, we are curious that this is happening barely 48 hours since Bola Tinubu emerged APC flagbearer. We are even more curious that INEC is yet to make an official statement on this worrisome trend.
“Other confirmed reports available to us has it that Igbos who came out to register are being turned back.
“During the 2019 General Elections, hoodlums were reported to have stormed Igbo-dominated areas and burnt ballot papers on Election Day. This trend must stop immediately. INEC’s silence on matters like this is quite revealing.
“We wish to raise our voice at this time when it matters most. We wish to call our people to stand up strong at a time the major political parties have shown their outright disdain and disrespect for the Southeast.
“The level of travesty and treachery that have been exhibited in the past few days by major political parties in Nigeria, which is an indication that despite our commitment to Nigeria, despite our patriotism, despite our passion and sacrifices, we are grandly perceived as outcasts. Ndigbo, agwo no kwanu na akirika.
“As Ndigbo lick their wounds, having lost out in the PDP and APC Presidential Primaries, why is Mahmood being used to stifle the chances of Ndigbo in the coming 2023 General Elections? We shall get to the root of this.”