The Hon. Speaker of Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, has issued a disclaimer on the purported ultimatum issued to Tinubu campaign organization by a Youth group in Enugu state, under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL).
According to the ultimatum from COSEYL, as published online by Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, the group stated; “we don’t want to see any campaign posters, billboards, advert or political gathering promoting or campaigning for Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in the South East. It is a warning which must be adhered to by all and sundry irrespective of your political standing. We have constituted a mobile taskforce to fully implement the directives of the youth leaders in the South East. The youths have spoken. Enough said!,”
In his press release on Thursday, Hon. Nwajiofor repudiated the ultimatum and made a disclaimer, stating that “the ultimatum does not in any way portray the intention and opinion of millions of Patriotic Ndigbo Youth.”
He chided COSEYL saying that such an ultimatum paints the good-spirited Ndigbo in a bad image. He enjoined the Tinubu campaign organization to feel free to extend their campaign train to South East as South East is part of Nigeria saying that any person is free to make a choice of preferred presidential candidate.
He however stated that “though South East is free for any campaign organization, justice, equity and fairness demand that every other region should support South East in our sincere and patriotic bid to produce the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come 2023”. The text reads in part;
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement of ultimatum issued by a Youth group in Enugu state, barring Tinubu campaign organization from extending their campaigns to South East, which was published online by Guardian Newspaper on Wednesday.
“I wish to disassociate myself and the millions of patriotic Ndigbo Youth from such an unpatriotic and divisive ultimatum. Such a statement is quite callous and uncalled for. It paints us in a bad image. The ultimatum does not in any way portray the intention and opinion of millions of Patriotic Ndigbo Youth who are liberal-minded and tolerant of other people’s choices.
“Ndigbo Youth are known for cordial engagements and are quite receptive of visitors. We are democratically sagacious; we are not oblivious of the freedom of choice. We are peaceful, accommodative, industrious, business-inclined, friendly and above all, resilient. Shedding of blood and violence are alien to us and inimical to our culture.
“Suffice it to say, no body will prevent Tinubu campaign organization and any other campaign organizations from exercising their freedom of choice and carrying out their campaigns in the South East. Any campaign organization is welcomed to the South East, as long as they carry out their activities in accordance with the laws of the land.
“However, it will be tantamount to a glaring hypocrisy if I fail to beckon on patriotic and good-spirited Nigerians to support us, the people of South East, in our quest for justice, equity and fairness. Though South East is free for any campaign organization, justice, equity and fairness demand that every other region of this nation should support South East in our sincere and patriotic bid to produce the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come 2023. It can only be fair and will instill an indelible sense of belonging in our people, if South East is supported by other regions to produce the next President, in 2023.
“I enjoin every Youth to eschew politics of hatred, division, malice and character assassination! Let us be civil and decorous while engaging people of opposing parties and divergent views. Issues-based and constructive campaigns, that will usher in a new Nigeria, should be propagated. In all, a better Nigeria is our target.
“God bless and salvage Nigeria.”