By Nwabueze Okonkwo

ONITSHA—NO fewer than 10,000 youths in Anambra state, under the aegis of Anambra Youths Association, AYA, yesterday staged a peaceful rally in various parts of Onitsha, Anambra State to sensitize the populace on the need to go out and cast their votes for any candidate of their choice during Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections in the country.

The youths, armed with placards bearing some inscriptions as “election must hold, nobody can stop the election, there must be election, come out and vote for your credible candidate, vote for people who will care for us, nobody can stop you, we are all Nigerians”, among others, commenced the rally  along the Onitsha/Owerri road in Onitsha  and traversed other parts of the commercial city, chanting pro election-must-hold songs in Igbo language.

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Addressing the participants shortly after the exercise which lasted for about three hours, the youth leader, Nnaemeka Onyemaechi (a.k.a Timer), stated that the issue of sit-at-home, election boycott and referendum, as   being canvassed by some people should not arise as they would do more harm than good to Ndigbo.

Onyemaechi further pointed out that sit-at-home or election boycott would not be the best option for the masses or else, wrong candidates would emerge and Ndigbo will live to regret their action in the near future.

He therefore urged all sons and daughters of Ndigbo to ignore any call for sit-at-home or election boycott and go  out enmasse to cast their votes on Saturday, February 16 and Saturday, March 2, to elect credible leaders that will pilot the affairs of this nation to the satisfaction of all and sundry.

Uwazuruike condemns sit-at-home on election day

Meantime, the leader of Biafra Independence Movement and founder of Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has distanced himself and his members from any group calling for sit-at-home or boycott of the general election.

In a press statement issued yesterday  by his Personal Assistant,  on Media Matters, Mazi Chris Anierobi Mocha,  Uwazuruike noted that although the organization has no preferred candidate, he has directed all his members to go out and vote for any candidate of their choice during the elections.

BIM interested only in actualisation of Biafra

The statement quoted Uwazuruike as saying that  BIM has no interest in the said elections, but rather its main preoccupation has been the struggle for the achievement of self-determination for Biafra through non -violence and non exodus principle.

According to Uwazuruike, “this statement is in continuation of a memorandum that was sent to the US State Department by various self-determination groups in Europe and other parts of the World on April 19, 2007, which was a day set out for peaceful protests across the world in support of the cause of MASSOB and my humble self, Uwazuruike”.

He therefore called on fellow nations of the global community to exercise the will to actively support the United Nations principle of self-determination as the inalienable rights of the oppressed people and to avoid double standard, permitting self determination only in Europe and elsewhere, while at the same time, denying the same right for West Africa and in this particular case, Biafra, because we are black.

Uwazuruike said it was on record that the world and its UN had at various times encouraged and supported the oppressed people who exercised such a right of self-determination in the  contemporary times with acts of active help and even participation in order to see the process through to consumation.

He gave obvious examples of this in Europe to include (Former Yugoslavia, Former USSR, Spain, Serbia, Georgia, Indonesia, Sudan in Africa and other oppressed people which included East Timor, Montenegro, South Ossetia, Kosovo and South Sudan.

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