OPINION: Will Our Votes Count In 2023?

Author: CHIMA ONYEKACHI

<SUNBIGHT>~Opinion~Nkwo~13th June, 2022 @ 08:49 WAT

I do not want to be seen as a hater of the democratic process in Nigeria but my experience since I began to exercise my franchise has proven that votes do not count during electioneering.

I must confess I am intrigued by the vigour of the youths to sensitize the citizens on procuring the Voters’ Card so as to be able to exercise their franchise during the 2023 elections in Nigeria.

I really do want to believe that the votes in the 2023 elections will count but past experiences keeps haunting me from reckoning that the electioneering process is yet matured to be without rigging or corruption.

After twenty-three years of democratic dipensation in Nigeria,the citizens are yet to come to an understanding in the avoidance of ethnicity, religion and belief in electing a candidate, then how much long shall it take for us to understand?

Sixty-two years after the independence of Nigeria from the clutches of the British colonizers, the political class and religious heirachy still does not trust an individual from the old eastern region herein referred as Indigenous Biafrans to be suitable to ascend the position of Presidency.

How long will an Indigenous Biafran be entrusted to preside over Nigeria?

Though, ị am simple-minded whom believes ethnicity or religion should be ignored in the selection of a leader.

But after the Biafran Genocide of 1967-70, to prove the mantra of “No Victor,No Vanquished”, the people of Biafra should be made to feel accommodated by occupying the highest political position in Nigeria based on merit and not sentiment.

It is a fact that Indigenous Biafrans are the most inhabitated in other regions of Nigeria and engages selflessly in the development of the areas in which they domiciled not minding it is not their place of origin.

I laughed out loud when I read in the dalies that the political party-APC presidential candidate, Ahmed Tinubu, promised to handover to a Biafran after an eight-year tenure.

Shouldn’t we be wise enough to reason that he has discarded the core point of his presidential agenda and already dreaming of two terms even before the 2023 elections? THINK ABOUT IT!

Meanwhile, former Nigerian vice-president and political party-PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has declared he will handover to a Biafran after one term(four years) as President. Should I actually believe this politician that has persitently changed political party after losing the primaries?

Factually, both politicians I mentioned are well aware that it is a Biafran that should take over from President Muhammadu Buhari but due to the mistrust from the other regions of Nigeria against the Peoples of Biafra, there is continuous postponement. TRUST ME!!

Some of you may wonder, what can we do?

I opined that the same zeal exhibited towards the sensitization of Indigenous Biafrans to acquire the Nigerian Voters’ Card should be demonstrated to demand a referendum for an independent Sovereign State of Biafra.

The right to self-determination is not a call for warfare but a civilised approach for dialogue and to determine the census of the wellbeing of the indigenous peoples.

The HELSINKI CONFERENCE of 1975 reaffirmed that “the participating states will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms including the freedom of thought, conscience,religion or belief for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

Furthermore, the convenant also declared that “they will promote and encourage the effective exercise of civil, political,economic, social,cultural and other rights of freedom all of which derive from the inherent dignity of the human person and are essential from his free and full development.”

I implore Indigenous Biafran youths to quit the desire to rigorously attempt to vote in Peter Obi of Labour Party as the President of Nigeria because their votes will never be validated nor counted judiciously.

If at all it does, violence will be erupted in other regions of the country so as to threaten the lives and properties of Indigenous Biafrans domiciled there.

I urge everyone to use this opportunity and strategy of campaigning for Peter Obi to undertake our right to self-determination via referendum as recognized by international laws and instruments.

Peter Obi shall lose the election and be compensated with a ministerial or ambassodorial appointment leaving you all in regret and confusion.

Let Indigenous Biafran youths reject playing to the gallery and make the political and religious heirachy in Nigeria understand we cannot be used often to define the electioneering process every four years.

This time, let us request for a different approach called REFERENDUM to enable us define our wellbeing appropriately.

The referendum is a civil manner to enable us choose whether Indigenous Biafrans wishes to continue in the forced union created by Frederick Lugard or be independent to govern and manage ourselves and resources respectively.

If our grandparents and parents were unable to achieve our independence via the barrel of gun, let us show the global community that we are civilised  and determined to enforce our right to self-determination via referendum.

The Indigenous peoples of Scotland has attempted four times, a referendum for independence and devolution from the British empire.

I beg to question, are the Scottish people more human than Biafrans?

I may be insulted or castigated due to my opinion but be rest assured that if Indigenous Biafrans refused to call for a referendum now, we may be forced to acquire an armoury to defend ourselves – a thought I do not wish or dream about.

But whatever means to enforce my human right and fundamental freedom- the right to self-determination. I AM GAME!!!

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