INTERVIEW: Threat against Igbo means we have not changed since 1962 elections – Bode George

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Chief Olabode George is a senior member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. George, in this interview, expresses shock over the outcome of the presidential election just as he calls for peace.

Excerpts: Bode George What is your take on the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly elections? I will follow my party’s pronouncement. We are all still in a shock. First, if you look at the results that came from Borno and Yobe states, it means someone is lying. If you claim that there was crisis in those two states and you could record figures more than Lagos, isn’t that interesting? It means that the army and other security agencies are lying about the ongoing insurgency in that area. Where did they manufacture those figures from? I am a Lagosian and we recorded only 5.2 million registered voters. So where do we go from here?

I want to appeal to Nigerians that there should be no violence, let us wait. They (INEC) made a law that where the card reader is not working, the result from there should be nullified. There were many locations that did not have card readers but people voted. So, automatically before the final results were released, they should have cancelled all those areas just to follow the electoral law. At my age now, I am not afraid. I am just a little bit concerned about the future of my country, what are we going to hand over to our children? We are still doing things the way we did in 1962 and 1963 when we were in the Western Region. When will these cheating stop? We need to have a nation that is the envy of other countries. Look at the financial world, I am told that some investors have gone back with their money.

If the election had been fair, we would have accepted it. I pray that sanity will come into our nation. Nobody should take up arms and kill others. How do you react to the reported cases of attacks on the Igbo resident in the South-West, especially in Lagos State? What I am saying is this, I have it on good authority that a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has asked his boss to threaten the Igbo because they voted the way they wanted while observing their civic responsibility. Why are they threatening them? Igbo have reached out to me to save them from attacks. We have to be very careful because all these thugs being used to attack the Igbo were not even born during the civil war. They threaten the Igbo not to open their shops and not to come out and vote during the next round of elections. If they (those issuing threat) go to the South-East and they (Igbo) threaten them, how will they feel?

The basic cultural tenet of a Lagosian is that they are accommodating and that is why you find every tribe in Nigeria living in Lagos. Why are they threatening people? Even in Eti-Osa, the place is surrounded by the army. At this age, what are we going to leave for the generations coming? We need to pray. Aside prayers, what can President Muhammadu Buhari do to prevent the tension from escalating? He has advised his supporters against jubilation. He also said people should calm down so that they can calm the nerves of others. Otherwise, they will get the other side angry. We need peace; we know what happened during civil war. We need peace in this country. To me, that makes a lot of sense. Vanguard

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