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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has sent out a warning to those threatening to attack Igbo electorates wishing to participate in the forthcoming election in the country to desist from it or face their wrath.
The spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, who was reacting to a comment by a popular Yoruba monarch to deal with the Igbos who do not vote for their own candidates in the west pointed out that such a threat would not be tolerated.
He said, ‘the attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been drawn to a threat from a monarch in Yoruba Land to the effect that they will deal with non-indigenes, especially Ndigbo who don’t vote in the upcoming elections according to the wish of the monarch.’
Powerful reiterated that IPOB as a freedom movement is not interested in Nigeria’s election but rather interested in the date for a referendum but emphasised that whoever wishes to participate in the election could do so on their own volution.
“While we Biafrans await a date for Referendum, nobody should threaten Ndigbo and Biafrans residing temporarily in other parts of Nigeria for any reason.
“IPOB want to state unequivocally that any attack in any part of Nigeria on the Biafran people or the Igbo Nation or their properties on account of the choice of individuals to participate and vote according to their conviction during this so-called election will be met with adequate and commensurate action.
“We urge men and women of good conscience in the North and West to caution their traditional rulers and politicians who want to use Ndigbo and Biafrans as scapegoats in this skewed election process to be very careful and retrace their steps.
“Gone are the days when Ndigbo will be threatened and intimidated during elections. As long as Biafrans have not been given the opportunity to exit Nigeria via a referendum, IPOB will not stand by and watch anyone Nigerian or non-Nigerian threaten Biafrans or carry out such threats against us and get away with it.
“Even as IPOB do not wish to be drawn into the politics, nobody has the right to threaten Ndigbo or attempt to compel them to vote for a particular party or candidate. Any Biafran who wants to vote in this election has the right to vote for any party or candidate of his/her choice, and nobody should direct or threaten them to vote for a particular party in their community or state.
“If anyone threatens to attack Ndigbo and Biafrans or non-indigenes residents in your place, be rest assured that the people being attacked will not sit and watch their property and life being destroyed and will activate their right to Self Defence.
“We are urging Ndigbo, Biafrans and non-indigenes everywhere to be prepared to defend their property, family and their own lives during and after this election period. Do not allow anyone to use you or your family as a sacrificial lamb this time around.
“It is very imperative that we remind those who think highly of themselves and believe they will resort to violence and attack Biafrans that they do not have the monopoly of violence. Until Referendum is conducted and Biafrans exit Nigeria, those who have the habit of threatening and attacking Ndigbo must understand that it will not be business as usual this time around because their lives also will be in danger when they attack others.
“We are monitoring all the groups, institutions or individuals that threaten to attack Ndigbo. If they use election and that pretext to attack Ndigbo and their properties nationwide, we are ready to answer adequately and proportionately. Ndigbo nationwide must be prepared because they are coming to show us that we don’t belong to Nigeria, while they continue to deny Igbo and Biafrans the right to Self-Determination,” Powerful stated.