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Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who is the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, and the Imo state Council of Elders have jointly called on the Imo state electorate to go out and vote and that they should ignore scaremongers who do not want Saturday’s governorship election to hold in Imo.
They made this appeal while reacting to what they described as the circulation of ‘all manners of falsehood’ to destabilise the Imo governorship election.
Speaking first, the Chairman of Imo State Elders Council, Eze Cletus ILomuanya, said: ‘In Igboland, an elder does not stay at home doing nothing while the she-goat delivers in her tethers. As Elders, we have a sacred duty to ensure that the right things are always done and that there is peace, love, unity, and stability in our State and country. Unfortunately, we have noticed of late, especially since last week, an unnecessary politically motivated gang-up against the Imo State government and the constant circulation of all manners of falsehood aimed at destabilising the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the State.
‘From our investigations, we discovered that there is a determined effort by some faceless persons to blackmail the State government and security agencies in the State, intimidate those saddled with election duties, and create a false picture of heightened insecurity to scare away Imo people from exercising their constitutional right to vote in the forthcoming election.
‘We are indeed, baffled at what the sponsors of these fake alarms and unpatriotic actions at this material time, intend to achieve even when the people have already resolved to participate fully in the November 11, 2023 governorship election. As we speak, many people have started relocating to their respective places of voting, just as there is credible evidence of mass returnees into Imo State who want to vote.’
They continued by saying: ‘That Imo State is very peaceful, hospitable and fully ready for the November 11, 2023 governorship election. In Imo people are very excited about the forthcoming governorship election in the State and are not even aware of any factual evidence or proof of the childish rumours of insecurity or any form of public unrest at all, which some disgruntled folks who are desperately pursuing self-serving interests are bandying about.
‘That the Imo State Council of Elders therefore, wishes to assure the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Staff conducting the election as well as all security personnel to be deployed for the election, of the maximum cooperation of Imo people, who are naturally very hospitable.
‘That the Council is, however, disturbed at deliberate attempts by some persons to foist hardship, and create rancour among Imo people. The council views this attitude as condemnable and must stop forthwith. The Council further strongly advises anybody who is averse to democracy to rethink because democracy is the most representative form of government anywhere in the world.
“Finally, we want to thank the Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma, CON, for not only assuring a level playing ground for all political parties and their candidates but for also practically seeing to it. We appreciate him for marching his promises of ensuring a free, fair and credible election with proven actions, and for not being self-centered even as a candidate also contesting the election.”
It was their views that ‘By all indices, Imo people are pleased with the preparations by both INEC and the security agencies ahead of the election. We also urge them to be neutral and fair to all parties, and candidates.
‘Once again, I thank you gentlemen of the Press and also solicit your cooperation towards ensuring a free, fair and credible governorship election in Imo State. This is because there is no democracy without the Press.’
Also, the President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, said: ‘The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, “I am happy now. I went to the villages and I saw some people very excited and they were waiting for the election. If anybody thinks he loves Imo, that person must not obstruct the election.
‘Just like about our son, Nnamdi Kanu, we discussed even in the meeting where we agreed that I should make an effort for the release of the IPOB leader, that meeting was financed by Governor Hope Uzodimma. Yes, he financed that meeting. Now, I have the mandate of our people to relate with the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to hold a meeting with the Igbo leaders. So, I can tell you for sure, that nobody is working against the release of an IPOB leader and just like we are saying nobody should work against the Imo election.’
Some of the stakeholders present at the meeting were the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Maurice Iwu,
Former Ambassador of Nigeria to Congo, Greg Mbakwe Professor Maurice Iwu, former INEC chairman, Senator Chris Anyanwu.
Former Vice Chairman of the PDP Nze Fidelis Ozichukwu, Major General Sunday Chikwe Rtd, and Former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, among others.