OHANAEZE CHARGE TO TOWN UNIONS
As we approach the 2023 general election, the usual Igbo town meetings that hold every December offer us a veritable opportunity to address certain issues that confront the Igbo as a collective. Interestingly, the Igbo society is structured in a concentric outgrowth hierarchy of family, kindred, hamlet, village and town; and each of the units has a leadership and ultimately a traditional ruler for efficient and effective social-political community organization. To this end, every community, led by the traditional ruler and the President-General of Town Union is expected to address the following issues in their December community meetings:
SECURITY: The South East of Nigeria was adjudged the most peaceful and serene geopolitical zone until April 5, 2021 when hoodlums or the un-known gun men attacked and overwhelmed the Correctional Centre, Owerri and released a total of 1844 prison inmates. Ohanaeze had interrogated the strategic capacity of the local non-state actors to overwhelm a highly fortified correction centre and discharged a total of 1,844 inmates without any arrest. Since that episode, the Igbo are confronted with various forms of insecurity. Added to the menace of Fulani herdsmen-farmers clashes, we now have Fulani kidnappers and community invaders in many parts of Igbo land. Hundreds of lives have been lost to these recent developments. This is very appalling and unbecoming. There must be a drastic step to counter the narrative.
POLITICS: Nigeria is at a crossroads. It stares all of us on our faces that, if Nigeria is allowed to continue to swim in corporate malfeasance, corruption, incompetence, moral turpitude, zero patriotism and their likes that have given rise to the ongoing mass unemployment, rising insecurity, poverty and other pathologies, our next generation will suffer irretrievably.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not wax eloquent on partisan politics. Rather, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide is an umbrella socio-cultural organization with a central philosophy to represent and protect the interests of all Igbo communities within and outside Nigeria. We owe it a duty to foster peace and cordial relationship between the Igbo and other ethnic groups in Nigeria. On the other hand, we stand against injustice whenever, wherever and however it is indicated.
Ohanaeze stands on a firm wicket to re-state the obvious, that it is the turn of the South East to produce the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This assertion is based on the entrenched rotation and zoning of political offices in Nigeria. Since the struggle for the presidency commenced there have been orchestrated intrigues to subvert those age-long inter-ethnic political mechanisms for national stability by scheming the Igbo out of the process. Staying the course of providence, Peter Obi was able to strategize the best out of the bourgeois corrupt machinations as the presidential candidate of the Labour Party for the 2023 presidential election.
As it stands, there should be a distinction between the politics we have and the politics we need. The Ohanaeze position is reinforced by the reality that Peter Obi- a moral edifice, democratic archetype and economy game changer-represents the confluence of both the national justice and the politics that Nigeria needs. Ohanaeze therefore urges Ndigbo to participate actively in the 2023 general election by mobilising themselves, close ranks and strive at best as our brothers’ keeper.
The President General of Ohanaeze ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor believes that “we can only succeed as a people when we are determined to achieve a common purpose and such a time is now. He adds that “the Igbo have a rendezvous with destiny in 2023 and I am sure history will vindicate us.”
SIT AT HOME SYNDROME.
There is no gainsaying the rampant sit at home in the South East has done incalculable damage to the Igbo economy. Evidence has shown that the Igbo adversaries are happy that we have chosen to face the barrel of the gun inwards. It is inconceivable that a group of people will decide to cripple its economy. This is an unfortunate exercise and must be addressed at the town’s meeting. That bad men thrive because good men go to sleep is an age-old statement founded on truth, reason and experience.
MEDIA PROPAGANDA. Some national dailies, especially the Daily Trust, have remained true to type in mendacious press against the Igbo. The amplification of insecurity in the South East with less regard to the kidnappings and banditry in the North West, ethnic cleansings in the Middle Belt, etc is not only a bad press to the corporate image of the entire country but narrow, visionless, infantile, pedestrian, puerile and most mal-adjusted ethic in journalism. On Friday, December 16, the front page of the Daily Trust tried to incite the North against the South Easterners by stating that about 100 Northerners were killed within one week in the South East. Again on Wednesday, December 21, the same paper, on its front page reported “IPOB Attacks; Igbo Avoid Christmas Trips to South East” because of insecurity. The persistent campaign of calumny against the South East led by the Daily Trust, in their wisdom or lack of it, is their ill-conceived strategy to stop a project whose time has come. We must remain focused and undaunted.
THE YOUTHS. There is a global cultural wind- a dangerous moral relativism -with perverse incentives and attractions which must be resisted by our youths at all costs. The Igbo moral codes and virtues of hard work, audacity, ingenuity, tenacity, inventiveness, hospitality, cosmopolitanism, mutual responsibility, frontier spirit and perseverance have remained exemplary and should be sustained. It is our belief that with hard work and godliness among others, the sky will be a stepping stone. The youths remain the effervescence of the society and should not be found wanting in the execution of the national project.
While commending the Presidents General of the Igbo Town Unions led by Chief Emeka Diwe, for lending grassroots impetus to the irresistible national Peter Obi phenomenon, Ohanaeze implores them to leave no stone unturned in sustaining the momentum in order to achieve the desired goal.
Finally, Ohanaeze Ndigbo wishes all the sons and daughters of Igbo land happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, the National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide