Igbo apex socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and prominent elders from the South East zone have declared that no group or individual can breakup Nigeria.
They said that the region remains an integral part of Nigeria and cautioned groups threatening to divide the country to stop their unpatriotic acts.
The leaders called on Igbo sons and daughters who have investments in other parts of the country to replicate same in the zone to create employment and develop the South East.
After a meeting in Owerri, the Imo State capital, tagged “Igbo Unity Forum,” at the Imo International Convention Centre (IICC), the Igbo leaders noted that Ndigbo has what it takes to solve their own problems.
The President-General of Ohanaeze, Gary Enwo Igariwey, in his speech, described the meeting as crucial to the rebuilding of the South East.
He said: “We should come together and solve our problems. We are known for our resilience and industry. Thirty percent of investments in Lagos and Abuja are owned by Ndigbo but after now we are calling on our people to think home and build another Abuja in Igboland.
“We should invest at home to create jobs for our people. So today is a special day because we have decided as a people to close ranks and proffer solutions to our problems”, he said.
The guest speaker, Prof. Anya O. Anya, called for the re-orientation of Ndigbo, stressing that, “the solutions to our problems can only be found within. We are the only ones that can solve our own problems.”
He added that, “We are preparing to rebuild Igboland to meet with the Nigeria of the 21st Century. We have gathered because the time is critical so that we can chart a new course for our people. There has never been a time we are faced with the barrage of problems like now, so we need to find solutions to our problems.”
Anya called on Igbo to have a paradigm shift in their quest for the development of their area, and begin to build bridges with other ethnic nationalities.
According to him, there is need for Igbo people to build bridges with other ethnic nationalities such as the Ijaw, the Middle Belt, the Yoruba, the people of the North East, North West among others.
Anya explained that the present socio-economic realities showed that many families are currently passing through hard times, noting that Ndigbo should put their strength together for the challenges to be surmounted.
Anya, who spoke on “Rediscovering Ndigbo in the New Nigeria,” said that Igbo were among the early settlers in Nigeria and as such has several unique qualities like the Jews and Chinese which make people to envy them.
Former Chief of General Staff, Navy Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, urged the Igbo to forget the past and look forward.
“We should forget about the past, there is nothing to regret about and we cannot be intimidated by anyone.”
Former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, who chaired the occasion, commended the efforts of Governor Rochas Okorocha over the Unity Forum Initiative, adding that the move was very apt.
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, urged Igbo people to be united as the nation was passing through difficulties.
Governor Rochas Okorocha said that the meeting was to bring Igbo under one umbrella again, adding that if the strength of Ndigbo is well harnessed, they have the potential to drive development in the entire country.
Dr .Pascal Dozie said Igbo has the resources to make a difference, noting that with the right political will, a roadmap should be developed to chart a new course.
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