The President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor has assured that Igbos are part of a United Nigeria.
He also said that nobody can intimidation Igbos out of Nigeria no matter the level of provocation. He however hinged his position on condition that government ensures there is good governance based on equity, justice and fairness to all the citizens.
Obiozor, a former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, stated these while speaking in Owerri, the Imo state capital at a welcome gathering in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari who was in the state on official visit.
He said- “The most urgent and imperative need of Ndigbo today is security. The security of Ndigbo in Nigeria and beyond has become a compelling primary responsibility of serious concern for Ndigbo. Regrettably, our South East Zone has recently become a theatre of conflict, negating the peace-loving nature of our people.
“However, the South-East zone is in dire need of more infrastructure sponsored by the Federal Government. Amongst these are roads, bridges, railways and ports. It is the considered view of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, one that is also shared by the Igbo people, that federal investments in these critical areas will revitalize the economy and will have the tangential effect of dousing the youth restiveness and unemployment in the zone.
“Mr President’s visit and presence today in Igboland and Owerri, Imo State in particular has more than political significance. In the manner of symbolism, this visit has thrown light into the cloudiness and doubts surrounding the perception of the relations between your Government and Ndigbo. Your presence reassures us that there is still reason for optimism for Nigeria and Nigerian unity.
“I feel very pleased in my capacity as President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and on behalf of the galaxy of Ndigbo leaders gathered here today, and the entire Igbo Nation, to welcome Your Excellency wholeheartedly to Igboland. It is also our firm belief that this visit will mark the beginning of a new chapter of dialogue, cooperation and understanding between Ndigbo and your administration.
“Mr President, after all, Nigeria has gone through in its nearly sixty years of the chequered history of crises and continuity and the spectacular patriotic role of Ndigbo to ensure its unity and survival, the consistent perception that the Igbos are separatists and
secessionists agitators, is a historical fallacy.
“Indeed, if the truth must be told, Ndigbo are the most federating unit among all Nigerian citizens. Generally speaking, anywhere in Nigeria you don’t find the Igbos, run away (because) something is wrong there. Igbos are market people and travel adventurers.
“Consequently, what defines the Igbo character is a propensity for friendliness and harmonious peaceful coexistence and the spirit of the universalism of mankind. This is who we are. Our Igbo adage says “Ojemba Enwe Iro”, literally translated – A traveller makes no enemies.
“Also, another misconception of Ndigbo is that Igbos cannot speak with one voice. Ironically, that is another fallacy. There are more things that unite Ndigbo than divide them. But the Igbo spirit defies conditions that are obstacles to the expression of their individual or group opinion. This sense of egalitarianism is what defines the Igbo system of governance based on liberal democracy and social justice.
“Mr President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igboland and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form a new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo Nation.
“Mr. President, we appreciate the infrastructural work being undertaken by the Federal Government in the South East such as the 2nd Niger bridge. It symbolizes unity and a bridge across the various regions of the country. However, the South-East zone is in dire need of more infrastructure sponsored by the Federal Government amongst these are roads, bridges, railways and ports. It is the considered view of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, one that is also shared by the Igbo people that federal investments in these critical areas will revitalize the economy and will have the tangential effect of dousing the youth restiveness and unemployment in the zone.
“In conclusion, Mr President, nothing is more important to the Igbos in Nigeria today, more than the restoration of a serious sense of belonging and the spirit of Nigeria’s founding fathers based on one nation, one destiny. And we believe this is possible through the Devolution of Power ensuring a sense of balance in our political system,” he concluded.