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Ohanaeze Demands For Mahdi Shehu’s Arrest Over Hate Speech Against Peter Obi

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has demanded the arrest of Mahdi Shehu, a Katsina-based activist, for claiming that supporting Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi is equivalent to supporting Biafra.

Christians in the North were urged by Shehu in a widely shared video not to support a presidential candidate with southern ancestry in the next election.

The activist, who was born in Katsina, claims that supporting a Christian Southern politician, especially the LP candidate, is the same as supporting Biafra and a secessionist.

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Shehu also claimed that South East, South West, and South-South discriminate against Northerners regardless of their faith. This claim applies to both Christians and Muslims.

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In a statement released on Friday in response to the news, the national publicity secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, called Shehu’s remarks against the LP candidate “distasteful and susceptible of fanning ethnoreligious conflicts throughout the country.”

People with such primitive ideas, according to Ogbonnia, are the “pernicious incubus” who have long held the nation back.

He cited the fact that “Christian Southerners in the past freely voted President Shehu Shagari, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and President Muhammadu Buhari on account of the manifestos they gave to the population” in reminding Shehu of this.

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The group additionally encouraged the federal government to detain and charge the activist in order to prevent others.

The statement partly reads; “Persons that harbour such mindsets are the pernicious incubus which has for long held Nigeria down. We call on the federal government to arrest, prosecute and ultimately confine Mallam Mahdi Shehu in a prison to serve as a deterrent to others.

“If such a deep ethnic jingoism is allowed to play out in the oncoming campaigns, then the fledgling wing of the eagle may be irredeemably broken. There is no Nigerian that is comfortable with the current state of affairs in the country.

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“Two major options are open to Nigeria in the 2023 general election: to continue with the abysmal tailspin of poverty, unemployment, rising inflation etc, on one hand, or a productive, combustive economic salvation on the other.”

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According to Ohanaeze, “The Igbo cosmopolitanism admits politicians of all persuasions to canvass for votes across the entire Igbo space without hindrance, bearing in mind that what Nigeria needs now is a transformative persona with ideologically based programmes and a proven record of accomplishments.”

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