By Christopher Isiguzo
Participants at a two-day World Igbo Summit in Enugu on Monday reviewed the place of the Igbo people of the south-east zone in the nation’s present political configuration, lamenting that unless the people came together to take their destiny in their hands, the future looked very bleak.
The summit specifically demanded the merger of the three main political parties founded by the Igbos, the APGA, UPP and the PPA, ahead of the 2019 general election to serve as a strong bargaining power for the people of the area.
The summit, hosted by the Igbo Awareness for Development Initiative (IADI), had heads of town unions, traditional heads, politicians, academics, students, business men and working people of all walks of life in attendance.
It expressed dismay that the present administration had relegated the Igbos to the backgroud, noting that in the present arrangement, the people of the zone had been shut out from the nation’s security apparatus, especially in the military and paramilitary, a development they insisted portends great danger for the people.
The summit, with the theme: “Igbo renaissance in the face of leadership gaps and apathy in Igboland”, stressed the need for a purposeful and unified Igbo leadership that is conscious of the needs of not only the elite but also the plight of the poor and working class people, and to recognise their responsibilities in building a social, political and economically viable society.
Notable among the speakers was Chief Chekwas Okorie, the National chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), former factional chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Maxi Okwu, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, a Canada-based physician, Dr Robert Dikeukwu and other Igbo leaders from United States, United Kingdom, South-Africa, among others.