A viral video on social media purportedly admonishing Christian faithful from the North against voting for Christian presidential candidates of Southern extraction, has attracted the condemnation of some Northern elders, who described it as provocative, and inciting.
In the said video, a human rights activist allegedly identified as Sehu Madi, was seen allegedly urging Northern Christians not to vote for Christian Candidates from the South, particularly the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, purporting that a vote for him would amount to a vote for Biafra, and a secessionist.
In a statement, Wednesday, the elders, who operate on the platform of Coalition of Northern Elders For Peace and National Unity (CNEFPNU), said: “As responsible Northern elders, we view the video allegedly credited to Sehu Madi, as one capable of instigating ethno-religious tension in the country, hence our call on relevant security agencies to take action.
“We further enjoin our people to disregard the provocative comments made in the video, even as we urge them to vote for presidential candidates of their choice, devoid of ethnic, religious, or political consideration.
“May we also clarify that, having followed Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, for a long time now, and we can say, without equivocation, that he is a detribalised, and patriotic Nigerian, who has the interest of the ordinary people at heart,” the statement read in part.
The statement continued: “In an election period, and in a period when Northern Nigeria is going through a very turbulent period, occasioned by terrorism, banditry, and other forms of what the North needs is unity in face of all odds and not a campaign of calumny against any one or region.
“As far as the coalition of Northern Elders Forum for Peace and Unity is concerned, Peter Obi was duly certified and cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a Nigerian, who is eligible to contest for any elective office.
“INEC, which cleared Obi, did not say that the Labour Party’s flag bearer is a Biafran.
“Mr. Peter Obi is running to be President of Nigeria, and not President of Biafra or Igbos or Southern Nigeria.
“His ambition, according to him is to guarantee economic prosperity and security for all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, tribal, or religious affiliation.
“The Peter Obi campaign is broad-based and all-inclusive. His track record of inclusivity is not in doubt.”