Igbos for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN), a socio-cultural pressure group has appealed passionately to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to rescind its decision to truncate the Anambra state November 6 governorship election, if its leader Nnamdi Kanu is not set free from federal government’s captivity before the 4th of November this year.
It would be recalled that IPOB had issued a press statement through Emma Powerful shortly after Nnamdi Kanu’s case was adjourned to November 10 this year requesting that the leader of IPOB was innocent and should be granted freedom or else the entire southeast region would be grounded from 5th November, the eve of the Anambra governorship election.
But in contrast, IPAN at a press conference in Awka at the weekend felt it would be counterproductive and double jeopardy if the governorship election was not conducted against President Muhammadu Buhari’s express order that nothing should stop the election from being held.
Lawrence Onuzulike, the national president of Igbos for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) said at the media briefing that should IPOB uphold its November 5th stay-at-home order in the southeast geopolitical zone, the Anambra governorship election would not only be marred by irregularities, it would also produce the wrong person as governor.
Onuzulike, therefore, emphasized that rather than scuttle the election, IPOB members should in the spirit of oneness vote and also encourage their families to come out and vote for the candidate of their choice for a better and more virile Anambra state.
Onuzulike said, “The IPOB sit-at-home order is directly targeted at Anambra governorship election even though it was crafted to make it look as if they are giving the federal government ultimatum to release their leader within one week or they shut down the whole southeast.
“Remember also that Mr President has given a directive to security agencies to provide adequate security to make sure that voters come out and are protected too. IPAN calls on the federal government to not just say the words but also match them with actions.
“They have mobilized about 34,000 police officers but we also need to have that confidence that on the election day every single voter is protected.
“Declaring sit-at-home on an election period, there is a danger that only people voting for a particular candidate will come out on that day and that is not good for Ndigbo.
“We need IPOB people to come and vote. We need other populations to come and vote. Let the right person win. IPOB members are Igbo people and the decision the next governor will take will be binding on them and their families.
“IPAN will be going to court until Nnamdi Kanu’s case is over. We will make sure that he is given a fair trial. “