By Victor Ahiuma-Young
FOREMOST umbrella body for Igbo youths, the Igbo Youths Movement, IYM, weekend warned that frightening and attacking other Nigerians would not give Igbo the Presidency of Nigeria.
The over 35 years old Igbo youths group, argued that It was wrong to make the Igbo reprehensible by terrorising and intimidating others into submission that Ndigbo political choices are the only choice available.
In a statement titled “Unrestrained Abusive Mob, Not In Our Character”, Founder of IYM, Deputy Secretary, Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, insisted that unrestrained mob attack on compatriots with different political views, would not take the Igbo to Aso Rock.
Uko who is also theSecretary of Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, said “The elections were held over six months ago, but the ugly abusive culture of mob attack deployed by certain individuals during the elections are getting difficult for our people to leave. At times like this, silence becomes acquiescence.
“The unrestrained, mostly unjustifiable mob attack of insulting anyone with contrary political views, associated with the past election, is dangerous, unhealthy and unhelpful.Hurling insults on highly respected clerics for no other reason that they called for respect and support for our political leaders, will isolate our region and make it difficult for us to find allies in our hour of need.”
“Men of God presently ruthlessly pilloried by our people, do not deserve the insults rained on them for standing on God’s word that we should respect and pray for our leaders.
“This new age 2023 culture of descending on anyone with contrary views, is strange and not Igbo.
We are frightening other Nigerians, we are unwittingly suggesting that we are desperate for power.
“We didn’t insult, attack and abuse Shehu Shagari when he defeated the great Zik in 1979. Neither did we rein ceaseless invective on Obasanjo when he was announced winner of the 1999 elections.
“This unrestrained mob attack on compatriots with different political views, will not take us to Aso rock.
Nobody ever acquired political power by reining insults on those with opposing political views.
Rather, you only make it difficult to earn their trust and support when you need them. Alliances are needful. Respect for other’s views are important.
“Sounding desperate for power and disrespectful to others, frightenes fellow citizens. We are only sadly establishing a terrible image of our selves, image of a desperate horde of desperadoes, unmindful of other people’s feelings. That is not who we are.
“The 2023 elections season cannot redefine us from the hardworking patriotic Ndigbo who reside and develop everywhere getting along with other Nigerians. It cannot sadly transform us suddenly into abusive monsters, attacking fellow citizens whose only crime is preference for other candidates.
“We could be digging our political grave. We need the support of others to succeed. It is wrong to make ourselves reprehensible by terrorising and intimidating others into submission that our political choices are the only choice available. We need to retrace our steps, if not, we will be hurting our tomorrow and giving others reason to gang up against us tomorrow.
“We should rather redirect this fearsome misplaced energy, towards addressing sickening appalling and atroctious innanities disfiguring our once admirable region. Such as spiritual immorality, shameful sinfulness and satanic wickedness like teenage mediums reigning as overlords teaching our youths that education and hardwork do not pay, rather that fetish rituals will turn any one into an instant billionaire as the way to go. This belief is destroying the future of the region.
“We should urgently save these lost souls by redirecting them from the pervasive ignorance since our political leaders by their silence seem to sugggest that they themselves could be secret patrons of these later day emergency spiritualists. We must also redirect our energy towards insisting that the right thing is done politically towards healing our bleeding region.
“What is the right thing? The right thing is that we should stand up as one and present the truth. The thick smoke covering our region cannot be removed by importing helicopters to spray water in the sky to chase away the black smoke covering our region for 24 years.
“Searching for the burning coal and lighting firewood responsible for the thick smoke that is choking us to death and quenching the raging flame of fire responsible for the black smoke enveloping our region will not release our land quicker from the ongoing misery destroying our region.
The minute we identify and put out the source of the fire, the blanket of smoke will dissipate and we will breathe fresh air again.
“Addressing the problem from the root will heal the land. The right solution to the agitation threatening our region is addressing the foundation as opposed to the fall-outs. Why do millions of young men seem to lose faith in their country and dream of a separate country? “Have we tried true federalism, power devolution, infrastructural development of the region and demanding to see the list of grievances driving the agitation? We will do better, addressing our own regional challenges from the root, instead of insulting and abusing other Nigerians with different views.”
Reyenieju called on all those involved in the protest to retrace their steps and specifically begin a process of interacting with the leadership of the Itsekiri ethnic nation so that all the varied contending views on methods of implementing the PIA within the Itsekiri biosphere can peacefully be harmonized for the overall interests of the Itsekiris as a collective.
He further described the protest as an act capable of presenting the Itsekiri ethnic nation in bad light in relation to the present federal administration. According to the former lawmaker, majority of the indigenes of the aforementioned three communities are historically law abiding and should not allow the dispositions of the few miscreants within them to superordinate over the peaceful dispositions of the majority.