Sen, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senator Representing Abia South, said on Wednesday that the spate of violence in the South-East will not affect the conduct of the 2023 elections in the zone.
Reports have indicated that the sit-at-home orders by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have resulted to violent attacks on residents and public infrastructure like offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the police.
Abaribe also called on the five governors in the South-East to come together and find a lasting solution to the unrest in the zone rather than trying to solve it individually.
“For some time we have not heard that all the governors have met. They are the chief security officers of their states,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday. “When they come together and take a stand everyone will follow, but each of them seems to want to do their own thing separately and it is not working because this is a regional issue.”
“For example if you pursue them in Imo they extend themselves to Anambra, if you push them in Anambra they run to Ebonyi, you push them in Ebonyi they run to Enugu.
“So every one of us must come together and work and work to bring peace to Igboland. But this will not affect the election, I tell you. You will see that the elections in the South-East will be free, will be fair and with BVAS the results will show who the people trust or not,” Abaribe added.
With just weeks to the February 25 presidential election, many offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the South-East have been razed by rampaging hoodlums. Scores of security agents have also been killed by gunmen, fuelling doubts about the safety of the general elections.
Abaribe blamed the insecurity in the South-East on external forces who collaborate with some locals to in a bid to ensure that people don’t exercise their franchise freely and fairly.
The lawmaker said he visited the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the IPOB leader told him there is nothing like Monday sit-at-home in the five states in the zone — Anambra, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu.
“All that is going on is that some merchants of violence and destruction have taken over and commit crimes and when they do that, they now say it is this group or that group,” the lawmaker said.