The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has called for the arrest of Mallam Mahdi Shehu over a viral video clip where he claimed that a vote for Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, is a vote for Biafra.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide in a press statement on Friday signed by Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, its National Publicity Secretary, expressed displeasure with the comment of the activist to the effect that a vote for Obi in the 2023 general election, is a vote for Biafra.
According to Ohanaeze, Shehu also alleged that a vote for Obi is synonymous with the destruction of the North, and asked his listeners what they stood to gain by voting Obi, a southerner.
“The uncivilized remarks by Mahdi Shehu are not only disingenuous but out-rightly, distasteful, mischievous, provocative, incendiary and capable of igniting ethno-religious tensions across the country. The rabidity, thoughtlessness and hollowness that characterized the video signpost the last wish of a fading and end-of-the-rope propagandist.
“Persons that harbour such despicable thoughts and mindsets are the pernicious cancerous social incubus which has for long held Nigeria down,” Ohanaeze stated.
Ohanaeze called on the federal government to arrest, prosecute and ultimately confine Mallam Mahdi Shehu in a prison to serve as a deterrent to other ethnic inflammatory chauvinists.
“If such a deep ethnic jingoism is allowed to play out in the oncoming campaigns, then the fledgling wing of the eagle may be irredeemably broken.
“Mallam Shehu and his like should be made to know that the ethnic cards that were played in the past to the detriment of unity, progress and corporate existence of the country have become loathsome, unserviceable and anachronistic,” the organisation said.
“Mallam Shehu, in his unmitigated myopia, lacks the basic social reflections to recall that the Christian Southerners had in the past willingly voted President Shehu Shagari, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and President Muhammadu Buhari on account of the manifestoes they presented to the populace. The most recent was President Buhari when in our historical lethargy he promised change, vibrancy, ruthless fight against corruption and uprooting the nefarious Boko Haram insurgency.
“The uninitiated should know that Nigeria has witnessed a major ideological quantum leap or a paradigm shift. Perhaps, the social media and the present educational standards among Nigerians have created an awareness and mass enlightenment far beyond the narrow Mallam Shehu pigeon-hole vision.
“The youths of today share in the propensity to follow a leader in whom they perceive as means of meeting their own ends. This is the irrevocable present-day reality.
“Instructively, the Igbo cosmopolitanism admits politicians of all persuasions to canvass for votes across the entire Igbo space without let or hindrance, bearing in mind that what Nigeria needs now is a transformative persona, a visionary with ideologically based programs and a proven record of accomplishments,” Ohanaeze added.