• Ohaneze urges Ndigbo to ‘think home’

THE lingering disunity among Igbo political leaders, which also played out during the last election of the umbrella socio-cultural body, Ohaneze Ndigbo, is fast giving way to apathy towards the region’s common activities, with the poor turnout at Sunday’s yearly Igbo Day, raising further concerns.
Apart from the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, governors, political and religious leaders from the zone failed to attend the much-publicised annual event held at the Okpara Square in Enugu yesterday.
This is coming as President Jonathan has assured of his government’s determination to end the alleged marginalisation of Ndigbo in the scheme of things in the country.
In his speech, Jonathan thanked Ndigbo for their support and promised not to abandon the region. He noted that signs of ending Igbo marginalisation were already becoming visible in terms of federal projects ongoing in the zone.
Nevertheless, the host governor, Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, was represented by his Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Joe Mmamel, while several seats at the popular stand remained empty throughout the event.
Investigations linked the low turnout to the leadership crisis that rocked Ohaneze soon after the election that threw up the incumbent administration of Chief Gary Igariwey in January this year.
A source hinted that Ebonyi State Governor, Martin Elechi, who allegedly felt slighted by Chief Gary Igariwey’s emergence, had since pulled out of all Ohaneze activities pending the conduct of a new election.
Meanwhile, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo,
Igariwey has said that Ndigbo would realise their pursuit of the Presidency after Jonathan had served out his tenure either in 2015 or 2019, just as he urged Ndigbo to “think home.”
He called on Igbo indigenes to think of recreating at home their achievements in other regions in order to uplift Igboland. In his speech entitled, “Think Home Ndigbo,” Igariwey said: “As a people, we have burst the rims of the space, Nigeria, and poured out to all corners of the world. In all of these places, we have left marks of success in all fields.
“If we think home, we will put smiles on the faces of our youth by providing employment. Unemployment has been identified as one of the major causes of security breaches in Igboland.”
Igariwey warned that Ndigbo would not get the Presidency by being timid but must demonstrate some level of seriousness towards the project. He lamented the “deliberate act of cheating and intentional exclusion of Ndigbo from a sense of justice and equity.”
According to Igariwey, the structural imbalance against Ndigbo in Nigeria has remained disturbing, and “if these had occurred in any other zones in this country, there would have been neither peace nor calm in the country until the injustice was redressed.”
He added: “The security situation in the country today has taken a big toll on our people. We have taken casualties, we have lost properties and it is ongoing. This is unacceptable.
“We call on the Federal Government to deploy all resources available to put this to an end immediately and work out modalities for compensating those who lost relations and properties.”