Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 12 August 2017 | 1,275 times
A group of lawyers under the umbrella name of Anambra State Lawyers in Defence of Democracy (ASLADD) has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of causing anarchy in the country and called on security operatives to employ measures that would be used to call the organisation to order before it spirals out control.
Speaking through a letter addressed to the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and signed by its convener, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi, the lawyers observed that in its determined effort to cause chaos in the country, IPOB had decided to introduce violence into the nation’s electoral process.
The group accused IPOB of catching in on the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State to besiege the state and scare people.
The letter titled “The 2017 Anambra State Governorship Election and the Imperative of Ending the Impunity of Anarchists Before it is too late” reads: “It is now a public knowledge that you have picked your nomination form in other to square up with many opponents from other political parties. The atmosphere is gradually heating up.
“IPOB is not even registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria and therefore enjoys no legal entity in the Nigerian nation. However, the IPOB activities and the consequences now transcend both political/geographical boundaries.
“The leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has taken a decision and consequently issued a directive to the effect that elections would no longer hold in Biafraland.
“No doubt, both your humble self and the members of ASLADD are all Biafrans. To this extent, it is therefore correct to state that no one man or group can lay claim to being more Biafran than the others.
“The fulcrum of this urgent letter is to express the way we feel by the strident opposition mounted by the IPOB to the conduct of the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State.
“We have chosen to write you on this, principally because we are involved. We are involved because we too are Anambrarians. We are involved because democracy has come under imminent threat in our beloved state.
“We are involved because the future of every nation’s democracy lies on the shoulders of lawyers. We are involved because lawyers are saddled with the sacred and abiding duties of enlightening the society, upholding the rule of law and defending our constitution, which is the most sacred document that holds our nation in balance and in being.
“We are involved because it is our incontestable right to contribute in defining and protecting the future in which we will live and raise our kids. It is now clearly beyond any scintilla of argument that we have a legitimate interest in whatever plays out on the political scene of Anambra State of Nigeria.
“A boycott is an act of voluntary and intentional abstention as an expression of protest, usually for social, political, or environmental reasons, if IPOB had stopped at directing its members to abstain from the polls, perhaps the present open letter would not have been of any moment.
“But IPOB did not stop at that. It has now gone physical. In Onitsha, video evidence abound how IPOB members interrupted state activities where the governor went for a football tournament.
“On another occasion, the governorship candidate of Progressives Peoples’ Alliance, PPA, Chief Godwin Ezemo, was confronted at a rally by members of IPOB.
“Only recently, the IPOB members invaded and desecrated St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area, where Governor Obiano was to worship. From the account of the state Commissioner of Police, it took greater restraint and discipline on the part of the governor’s security details to stave off what would have been a harvest of human casualties.
“Still recently, a coalition of militants issued a stern warning to Anambrarians, to stay away from the polls on the 18th of November, 2017 or pay dearly for daring to defy the order of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
ASLAAD maintained that all the steps already taken by IPOB were deliberate acts aimed at striking terror in the minds of ordinary citizens who have made up their minds to go out and discharge their civic duty.
They said that the disruption of electioneering processes like football tournaments, campaign rallies and invading and desecrating the sacred places of worship as witnessed in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia, are acts clearly outside the meaning of the word “boycott”.
Continuing, ASLAAD said, “Those are acts of outlawry. They are forerunners of anarchy. Anarchy is antithetical to democracy. Anarchists are anti-democratic forces that must be opposed, whether in Nigeria or Biafra land.
“Anambra State has values that distinguish it from the lots. We cherish democracy and its pristine values one of which is freedom of thought and speech. We are republicans. We abhor anarchy and view tyranny with disgust! People who wish to deal with us must respect our values.
“It is important to point out that in every democracy, while the minority will always have their say, the majority will have their way. In every democracy, no one man has the monopoly of the knowledge of what is good for a people.
“A people even have the right in every democracy to reject what is good for them. Advocates of election boycott must begin to learn, accept and live with this democratic truth. We pray that those who are actively seeking to return our dear Anambra state to the wasteful and inglorious days in the state be dismayed and turned back because they are our enemies.
“For seeking to precipitate anarchy in the state of the iconic departed supreme leader of Biafra Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, they are enemies of Biafraland. They have no respect for the cherished memories of our departed supreme leader who in his matchless wisdom established APGA as a political party in the Nigerian Federation. This is a party which IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu once headed its United Kingdom chapter and he has not told us what has changed between then and now.
“Call it pride, call it immodesty, we are confident in announcing that Anambra State ranks first ahead of all other South-Eastern states in all the indices of good governance and in distribution of dividends of democracy to the citizens.
“This is a state with the best network of roads in the whole of the Nigerian federation and the least indebted state. From the inglorious era of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, tremendous efforts have been made to gloriously change the narratives of leadership model from the time of Dr. Chris Ngige, Mr. Peter Obi and now Dr. Willie Obiano.
“All these superlative achievements would not have been possible but for the wonderful and well-informed choices made during periodic elections by Anambra citizens. It is therefore a most unfortunate irony and comical that individuals from states that are known to be afflicted with infrastructural bankruptcy and cursed with pronounced leadership convulsion would be seen advising Anambrarians to avoid the polls scheduled for 18th November, 2017. They should tell it to the marines.”
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