Scores of youths on Sunday, October 2 in Owerri, the Imo state capital protested the comment allegedly made by the former governor of the state, Emeka Ihedioha, tagging Igbo who won’t vote the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar as saboteurs.
Though Ihedioha had apologized over the comment, the youths during the protest insisted that he insulted the sensibilities of the Igbo people.
The state Chairman of Coalition for Peter Obi, Chukwuka Anukanti, while briefing journalists during the protest said that the youths of the state were disappointed by the comments made by Ihedioha
He said: “The comment made by Chief Ihedioha, a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and former governor of Imo state is to say the least most sacrilegious, disdainful, tribalistic and capable of igniting inter-ethnic and political war, especially as the campaigns for the 2023 general elections have kicked off.
“Ihedioha by that his unpatriotic and war-mongering comment has described himself as a desperate politician who is morally and legally unfit to handle any position of authority going forward.
“The “saboteur” tag on Igbo people by Ihedioha to a group of people who are legally seeking a national revolution through the ballot paper has further exposed Ihedioha as a career politician who is frightened by the OBIdient Movement which is now the toast of the nation.
“Could it be true that Ihedioha is happy with the deplorable state of the nation because as a career and chartered politician he has been benefiting from the misrule of the country at the detriment of the masses of this country?
“Ihedioha as an Igbo man who professes deep knowledge of our culture ought to know that during the Nigeria and Biafra civil war, the word saboteur was synonymous to instant death without trial. It sends chills down the spines of the people who heard it.
“Your life could be taken in a twinkle of an eye if you’re accused or fingered as a saboteur. It is a sacrilegious word that unleashed revolting and painful memory of a tribe almost wiped from the face of the earth.
“History spent time and recorded the pogrom that was unleashed on us (Ndigbo), but it deliberately circumvented the ones we unleashed on ourselves and kinsmen; the people who were hacked to death by mere suspicion and trumped charges of being a sabo.
“Ihedioha; a career politician who thinks he has arrived but unfortunately as a poor student of history should know better than resurrect such a word at a time when nerves are frayed and the people desperate for a change.
“By implication, he has unwittingly sentenced his kinsmen and party men to death if they vote for any candidate of their choice, except the one he chooses for them.
“At a period when the polity is heated he ought to have threaded with caution, and consideration to the yearnings of his people, but he’s a man used to having his way, without recourse to who he hurts. It is the same way his high-handedness has continued to work as a divisive tool even within his own party. A selfish entitlement man with a penchant for vindictiveness.
“In his self-bloated importance, laden with an overwhelmingly unhealthy dose of entitlement, he forgets we are still in a democracy and this country desperately needs a paradigm shift and rescue.
“His position can be likened to that of a house slave who feels because he eats the crumbs from his master’s feet, that he’s much more important and valued than the field slave who toils under the sun from dusk to dawn.
“Perhaps he hopes his masters will validate him, after calling his people sabo.
“It will be most unfortunate if Ndi imo should forget in a hurry the role lhedioha played in the sabotage of our desire for the presidency. He has taken a most unfortunate stance; demonstrating his unwillingness for a better Nigeria for us.
“Let us reiterate that Ndigbo and indeed Nigerians of purposeful mindsets in their millions are passionately and patriotically committed to voting for HE Peter Obi for a new Nigeria of economic prosperity, protection of lives and properties.
“If voting for Peter Obi, a man who has the capacity to unite this country, end poverty, revive our health sector, tackle perennial infrastructural deficit, end ASUU strike, provide jobs for millions of unemployed graduates and skilled Nigerians encourage local production is what Ihedioha referred as saboteur, then we all are saboteurs.”