…charges Igbo youths to eschew ethnic chauvinism
The apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation; Ohanaeze Ndigbo has declared that all Presidential candidates for the 2023 general election are welcomed to campaign in the South East region of Nigeria.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor made the declaration in response to a statement issued by Igbo youths under the auspices of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL). The group as quoted by the Guardian Newspaper of August 10, 2022, “warned groups and individuals promoting the presidential ambition of Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to stay clear of the zone”. The group described as “unfortunate how certain persons from Igbo land would allow themselves to be used to promote the ambition of a man who is outdated in all ramifications in the scheme of things to be voted as a Nigerian president come 2023.”
The apex Igbo organisation in a statement issued by Chiedozie Alex. Ogbonnia, PhD; National Publicity Secretary Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide said “the statement by the COSEYL is at variance with the Igbo character of liberality, hospitality, frontier spirit and accommodation of diverse interests. The South East constituency has sufficient political awareness or enlightenment to assess the presidential candidates as they visit the South East to market their manifestoes and canvass for votes.”
Obiozor “urges the youths in the South East of Nigeria to eschew ethnic chauvinism as the 2023 general election draws nearer.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo acknowledges the inalienable rights of individuals and groups to express their views on national issues but advises that such rights should not infringe on the rights of other Nigerian citizens. Clarification is made that each of the presidential candidates has every right to campaign and canvass for votes in all parts of the country. In other words, since the presidential candidates of the South East or Igbo extraction enjoy untrammeled access and mass followership in other geopolitical zones of the country, it is a political self-immolation and indeed highly unreflective for COSEYL to embark on a misstep that may diminish the Igbo patina for inter-ethnic friendliness.”
“As we celebrate the International Youth Day with the theme- generational solidarity; it is necessary that as leaders of tomorrow, instead of an archaic and implacable adherence to prosaic ethnic indulgences, it is much better to develop an inter-ethnic solidarity with an encompassing national ideology into which the productive energies of the youths from diverse parts of the country will coalesce. This is the ideal.
“For further clarifications, it is a subversion of democratic process and indeed a potent source of national crises for candidates to perceive threats or hostility from groups within the country. While we share in the passion and grievances of the Igbo youth, maturity is still needed in our political activism to eschew ultra-ethnic chauvinism.”