A Cleric, Rev. Fr. Charles Igbokwe, has cautioned Southeast residents against heeding to calls for election boycott by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
NAN reports that Igbokwe made the call during a homily at a Sunday mass at St. Gregory The Great Parish Church, Idaw River, Enugu.
It would be recalled that the leadership of IPOB, a proscribed group, had continued to call on Southeast residents to boycott the forthcoming election by sitting at home on Feb. 16.
“It will be wrong of the parishioners or people in the Southeast to stay in-doors rather they should troop out to cast their votes on election days,” he said.
Igbokwe also reminded the congregation about the directive from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).He advised the people to caution their children against running fowl of the law and provoking security forces.
“We heard that a certain group or individuals asked the people of the Southeast to boycott the election. How can you boycott the election when you are Nigerians?
“You cannot effect any change in the society by shunning the election when we all are still Nigerians.“You can only effect a positive change by going out to cast your votes on the day of election; it’s your civic responsibility,’’ he said.
He said if the parishioners refused to vote for any candidate they would create opportunity for all manner of candidates to be imposed on them.He stressed that the proper thing to do was for people to go out massively and cast their votes.
The priest advised dissenting Igbo groups to sponsor credible candidates of their choice and mobilise their members to elect such candidates into offices as governors and legislators.
“You can’t be talking of referendum when you are not controlling the five governors in the Southeast, state legislators and a reasonable number of the national assembly members,’’ he advised.