By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has urged all its members, especially those in the northern part of the country, to remain and vote in their states of residence during the 2019 general elections.
Leader of the organisation in Niger State, Chief Emmanuel Ezeugo, gave the charge in Minna at the weekend while exchanging views with newsmen on the forthcoming general elections and the role expected of the Igbo.
Chief Ezeugo said the call had become necessary because during previous elections, there were always mass exodus of non-indigenes, mostly Igbo, from the state to their areas of origin, saying “this has been a major challenge facing Igbo in the country during every election year.
“This attitude has been discovered to be counter productive because you are not able to vote where you have left and you cannot also vote in your new location.”
Apart from this, Ezeugo said it was risky for people to move their families to other locations before election noting that many have died because of such actions.
He declared that: “our strength in Niger state lies in our population, resources, wisdom which should be harnessed to bring out the best in our democracy,” he said.
The president also asked the Niger state government “to carry the Igbo’s in the state along” because “we have contributed enormously to revenue generation in the state.
“Many of us were born here while many of us one thing or the other brought us to Niger and we have settled and taken this place as home.
”We have enviable assets in the state and we should be carried along and even be allowed to contest some elective positions as it is done in some other states,” he said.
Ezeugo pledged the support of the organisation to the promotion of peace and unity in the state and therefore asked Igbo’s in the country to be law abiding anywhere they found themselves.
“The peace and unity of this country is not negotiable, the promotion of peace and unity to enhance security and development in the state and the country at large is our priority,” he said.