Nze JohnPaul Ezenwaka, the vice president of Anyi-Anyi group, urged the security agencies to fish out those behind these attacks, and we also pledged to offer free legal services to the victims to help them pursue the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
“If those who were attacked, and their property destroyed are willing to come out and testify, we are willing to help them, they are not going to pay for the services we would render to them. We have laws in this country” he recounted.
It urged eligible voters in the state not to be intimidated by the events of the presidential election but rather mobilize and come out in their numbers on Saturday and vote, their choice in the governorship and state assembly polls.
“We, want to encourage our people not to be afraid or intimidated. They have a right to go out and cast their votes as citizens of Nigeria, nobody has the right to force them to vote for him or who they don’t want.
If anybody wants your votes, he should convince you to vote for him and not intimidate you…
“We, want to urge our people being intimidated not to be afraid, they should come out on Saturday and use their PVC, which is their strength and power to vote out bad leaders, it is the people that decide who rules them.
“If you don’t come out to vote on Saturday because of fear of intimidation those oppressing you will come back to power and oppress you the more.”
National Secretary of the group, Asomugha Johnpaul noted that Anyi Anyi is a socio-cultural group comprising the five Igbo South East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, Delta, Rivers, and the Igbo-speaking parts of Benue and Kogi States.
A statement jointly endorsed by the National President, A.O Okolo, and National Secretary, Asomugha JohnPaul, read by the Deputy National Leader Nze JohnPaul Ezenwaka regretted that some Nigerians are yet to embrace the new wave of patriotism.
It also berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for not living up to expectations.
The statement read in part, “It is disheartening to note that this new wave of patriotism across the Federation has not been embraced by all, and those who oppose it, seek to hide under the cover of ethnicity, to unleash their bigotry on the people of other nationalities. In Lagos especially, Ndigbo has been made the scapegoat for the widespread rejection of a party and their candidate, leading to the disruption of Igbo businesses, destruction of our people’s shops, properties, and wilful damage and intimidation of voters, leading even to grievous bodily harm. We have visited these sites, spoken to the victims, and gathered incontrovertible evidence of the acts…
“We reassure Ndigbo in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria that their right to vote for the candidate of their choice is sacrosanct. We will zealously defend such rights in accordance with the laws of the land and the demands of justice, no matter the cost.
“No matter the provocations, we encourage all the peoples of Nigeria to exercise restraint and to be resolute in our journey to ending this system of corruption, even as we join our faith with that of Nigerians in praying for the restoration of the people’s divine mandate. We must achieve a Nigeria based on justice, equity, and fairness…
“We are saddened that the electoral umpire has failed to oversee an election that is free from general controversy, despite the billions of Naira spent to achieve a technologically superior election model. The failure to provide an exercise capable of gaining public trust on a national level shows a lack of character that sadly has dogged this current government and is sure to secure the negative legacy it has worked so hard to sustain…”