Igbo group tells ICC, international community who to hold responsible for election violence

Nasir el-Rufai

The Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) has called on the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and members of the diplomatic corps to hold the Governor of Kaduna State and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Nasir el-Rufai responsible for any act of violence that may be recorded in Nigeria’s general elections which starts on Saturday.

In a statement made available to Owojela's Blog on Friday, President of the socio-cultural and political group, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro, through the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Ahaoma Kanu, said the call became necessary following the hostile and open threats made by the governor in a televised program on national television.

“The open threat made by Mallam el-Rufai to foreign election observers was done with a calculation to keep them at a distance so that all kinds of illegality can be carried out without the watchdogs around.

“As we get into the final hours before the elections, we are worried for the safety of our people who are resident in Kaduna and other parts of the northern Nigeria and demand that the Federal Government should protect the lives of every person in those regions. Kaduna State under el-Rufai has witnessed ethnic tension; deaths and bloodshed.

“This is a governor that did nothing when in 2017 the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum gave a quit notice to Igbos living in the north to leave or face attack. Kaduna State has become a very volatile state where violence and killings occur without warning.

“There have been various incidences of violence along religious lines lasting days without abating especially in Southern and Northern Kaduna with the State government doing absolutely nothing to stop such incidents neither are any culprits arrested.

“As a people who are always targeted especially by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who has not only militarized the South East but have ordered a crackdown on innocents sons and daughters of Ndigbo, we are concerned about the safety of our people since it is evident that Igbo leaders have given a directive to our people where to cast our vote.

“We call upon the ICC and the international community to place a special focus on the activities of the state governor in order to safeguard the lives of Nigerians during this election period,” Okoro said.