A pro-Biafra secessionist group, the Biafra Zionists Federation, on Sunday called on Igbos to boycott the rescheduled general elections.
The boycott is proposed as a show of solidarity with 11 members of the BZF, including the leader, Ben Onwuka, who were arrested during an attempt to declare the secession of the Republic of Biafra from the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the studio of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service on June 5, 2014.
Following their unsuccessful attempt to secede, Onwuka and the 10 members of the BZF were remanded in prison and are currently undergoing trial for treason.
Urging Igbos to boycott the general elections, the BZF expressed anger that a Federal High Court, sitting in Enugu, had on Thursday refused to grant bail to Onwuka and his co-accused.
National Chairman of BZF, Comrade Cyril Onyia, at a news conference in Enugu yesterday, called on the entire people of the South-East to boycott the election as a show of solidarity with the detained activists, who he said were in custody because they were fighting for the liberation of all Igbos.
Onyia argued that “any harm done to the detained pro-Biafra secessionists is a harm done to all Igbos”.
He added, “They arrested BZF members have been in prison custody not because they are pursuing a selfish cause but for the singular reason that they are demanding the liberation of Ndigbo.
“To this end, we urge all worthy Igbo sons and daughters not to participate in the forthcoming elections – this is the only honour they should do to these great patriots”.
Faulting the court’s refusal to grant bail to the BZF 11, Onyia said, “It is indeed very surprising that the court refused them bail on the grounds that they may cause security breach within this period.
“It is surprising because the BZF does not believe in violence, neither does it associate with any violent group. We can never disrupt any election, even though we shall abstain from voting.
“So, we are calling on the Federal Government to urgently intervene and see that these harmless freedom fighters are released.
“In our fight for freedom, we have never and will never take up arms against the state. Everything we are doing is within the ambit of all international laws and treaties”.