2023 Elections: Ignore Sit-At-Home Order – Ohaneze

Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the South East Women Network (SEWNET) have urged people of the zone to ignore sit-at-home order to boycot the forthcoming general elections.

The groups led this out on Tuesday when the SEWNET paid a courtesy visit to Dr Alex Ogbonnia, the Ohaneze Ndigbo, National Publicity Secretary, at Ohaneze Secretariat in Enugu.

They said they were worried by the proposed sit-at-home order by one Simon Ekpa, the self-proclaimed disciple of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who live in Finland and discouraging people from voting on election days.

They noted that elections must hold in the zone as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking on behalf of SEWNET, Dr Betty Agujiobi, said the action of Ekpa to impose curfew on the region during February and March elections was uncalled for.

According to her, the curfew will mean that no vehicle will ply in any of the highways within the southeast and no election will hold.

“In other words, we will be denied voting right for no reason and I don’t see how somebody who is not residing in Enugu or Nigeria will sit at his comfort and give such illegal order,” she said.

She noted that Ekpa had been enslaving and holding people of the region to ransom, urging the Ohaneze to do everything possible to ensure that people exercised their civic responsibilities.

Agujiobi said the attitude exhibited by Ekpa put the lives of the people of the southeast in danger and perpetual fear.

“In the last order, a pregnant woman and young man were killed in Enugu and given such order during election will put fear in people.

“As women, we want to know what the Ohaneze, governors and other political stakeholders in the zone are doing to salvage the situation.

“Are they not touched by the humiliation the young man is causing the people of the southeast; one day, monkey will give order that people will not wear cloth in the region and they will obey.

She stressed that if Igbos did not participate in the general election, it would still hold and someone would emerge winner to their own disadvantage.

While calling the people to disregard the sit-at-home order, Agujiobi said, “Is there no way Ekpa can be contacted so that Southeast women can plead with him to leave us alone?”

She regretted that Monday’s sit at home was more serious in Enugu while it was not working in other southeast states, and urged the state government to do something about it.

READ MORE: Just In: IPOB Cancels ‘Sit At Home’ In Southeast

A member of the group, Mrs Onyinye Mamah and President, Women Support Women, said they were joining Ohaneze in finding lasting solution to the happenings in the region.

Mamah said Ekpa was just being insensitive to the plight of the people,saying, “How can Ekpa be punishing his own brothers and sisters and reducing their numbers yet he claim to be fighting for them”.

She added that Igbos were committed in voting for any candidate of their choice during the forthcoming elections while Ohaneze should help to fight the illegal order.

Responding, Ogbonnia said a lot of people in lgboland was worried by Simon Ekpa’s nefarious activities, hinting that the group had cautioned and warned him to desist from the act.

He said, “Ohaneze is a persuasive organization and not a coercive one and cannot enforce any directive. Rather,  we seek support of governments to intervene in happenings in the southeast.

READ MORE: Elections: Peter Obi Stands Out Among All Presidential Candidates – Ohanaeze

Ogbonnia said election must hold in Igboland noting that similar threats were issued in Anambra during the second tenure of Gov. Willie Obiano and during Gov. Chukwuma Soludo but Ohaneze intervened and it was finally held.

He described Ekpa as a “trickster” who was using the situation to enrich himself and wreak havock on innocent people, urging the southeast to ignore his youthful exuberance.

Ogbonnia explained that Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide would within the week decide on what to do to Ekpa and how to manage the problems he created.

He thanked the women for being the first group to visit the Ohaneze Secretariat to express their concerns on the situation in the zone.