Elders in the South East have called on the various authorities and security agencies to stop the ongoing killings and threat to the conduct of the 2023 general elections in the zone.
In separate statements, elder statesman and chairman of the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; former Minister of Health, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike and renown politicians and a former chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Ralph Obioha, insisted that the violence must not be allowed to continue in the zone.
In his message, Iwuanyanwu cautioned all separatist groups in the South East to give peace a chance so that the region can participate in the 2023 general elections without hitches.
Iwuanyanwu, who disclosed that his council had been working for the release of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, said that in the past few months he had watched with deep grief the amount of innocent blood, public and private properties being destroyed in the zone, and warned that if the trend continues the hope of a peaceful poll in the region may be a mirage.
Similarly, Professor Madubuike said it was high time the legitimate authorities of the state began to show their strength and assure the citizens that no group of non-state actors would be permitted to disrupt the peace, especially the general elections in the South East.
“We have seen the agitators display their intent to intimidate the people and disrupt the elections. It is now time for the sovereign authorities to show the people what they have in stock for their security to ensure they come out and vote,” he said.
On his part, Obioha urged the residents of the zone to ignore any threat to boycott the general elections and come out to exercise their franchise, especially now that a candidate from the zone Mr Peter Obi is contesting for the office of the president.
“For this reason, I call on Ndigbo to ignore or caution anybody calling for a boycott of the 2023 elections and prepare themselves to come and vote despite any let or hindrance,” he said.