Election violence: Fear grips Ndigbo, South South indigenes in North

Igbo-menAs the general elections draw nearer, there is increasing fear, apprehension and tension of post election violence in some parts of the country, especially, in the three geo-political zones of the North. This has made Nigerians that are not of Northern extraction to start relocating from the North especially, North East and North West where there have been increasing wave of insurgency.

To avoid being caught unawares indigenes of South East, South-South extraction living in the 19 states of the north have started relocating to the Federal Capital territory, FCT, Abuja and the Eastern part of the country.

.In the past few weeks, some of the motor parks in the northern states have witnessed increasing traffic of passengers leaving in droves to the East and some stopping at the FCT with their property.

The fleeing people are those living in the North East where there is the Boko Haram onslaught on innocent Nigerians and they have claimed that despite their efforts to help in developing their host communities, they are always targets of any attack.

One of them who gave his name as Cyril Aboh living in Kano told Saturday Vanguard that many of them especially those from the South East geo-political zone decided to leave the state in order not to be caught unawares, alleging that in any election violence in the North, Igbos were always the target of attack.

Aboh said that although, Eze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern states have assured them to remain where they are, some of them decided to take precautionary measure because of past experiences and also bearing in mind that the Federal Government had not been able to curtail the Boko Haram onslaught in the North East. He also said there has not been any concrete evidence on ground indicating government readiness to guarantee their safety.

But Saturday Vanguard was told that Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State had recently held meeting with some of the leaders of non indigenes in the state and assured them that they would be safe and should not entertain any fears.

The Special Assistant to Governor Yuguda on Community Relations Chief Ben Ezirim who represented Ezeigbo Bauchi, Eze Jude Mesika in an a meeting in Abuja in an interview described the governor as an action governor.

Chief Ezirim said, “He (Governor Yuguda) has never disappointed non indigenes. In a recent development, the Igbo Community in Bauchi went to him to ask him whether we should go or stay, fortunately, with a heart full of joy and confidence he told them that they should stay.

“He assured that the Bauchi state Government will use all security measures within its reach to make sure that lives and property of the people are protected. The Governor of Bauchi believes 100% in Goodluck Jonathan; and all the members of his cabinet are all for Jonathan. So, we are not in doubt of Jonathan’s victory in the election.

“Also, we have confidence in the Emir of Bauchi state, His Royal Highness, Eri 1 Adamu. He is another wonderful man; one of the best Emirs we have in the North. He has always embraced all the non indigenes. He reaches us always through relevant offices so as to hear from us how we feel and how we are coping with life”.

“He has an open door policy. Any time the Ezeigbo goes to him or sends any of his envoys he gives them prompt and warm reception. He is not a tribalist. He sees everybody as one. He has equally assured Igbo people that they should not go as a result of the forthcoming general elections.”

The Eze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States after a three-day meeting in Abuja where they x-rayed the political situation in the country admonished Igbo indigenes against mass relocation.

The traditional rulers known as ‘Ogbako Ndi Eze n’uzo ije’ told their subjects to remain calm and not to fear as the Federal Government was making every efforts to ensure safety of non indigenes in every state of the federation, from South South to the North. In the meeting convened by the Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Ferdinand Anikwe, Igbo monarchs in the Diaspora, maintained that Ndigbo should remain where they reside and cast their votes during the general elections.

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