• Begins nationwide consultations
•Says I can’t disown IPOB
The new President General of the Igbo umbrella organisation, Ohanaeze Nidigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has charged Ndigbo to embrace his plan of uniting the people for the enormous challenge ahead.
Nwodo told various segments of Igbo groups based in Abuja last Tuesday that the challenge before Ndigbo in today’s Nigeria is enormous and only a united and focused people can make a difference.
The president general who was on the first phase of his consultations with the people that would take him to Abuja and Lagos, told Ndigbo to bury whatever differences they might have and unite to confront the common enemy.
He said: “The goodwill and enthusiasm of the people on his emergence would only be the catalyst that would fire his determination to serve the people diligently.”
On the IPOB and MASSOB, Nwodo said: “No reasonable father would disown his child publicly because he misbehaved,” pointing out that Nigerians should also ask themselves question regarding the circumstances that forced these youths to react the way they are doing.
Nwodo said there are apparently double standards in the handling of protesters in Nigeria by security agencies and wondered if there are different laws for different people.
The leader of Ndigbo noted that his leadership tends to harmonise both political and corporate Igbo leaders with a view to having a common front for the development of the regions.
He noted that the persistent marginalisation of Ndigbo in the country would be a thing of the past if the people take their destiny in their hands and take their God-given entrepreneurial skill home by investing in the spirit of ‘Akurue uno’ (the wealth that reaches home).
Nwodo, who was accompanied on the trip by some members of his executive committee, was enthusiastically received by various segments of the people with dancing and singing.
Earlier on arrival in Abuja, he paid courtesy call on the Palace of the Ezeigbo of Abuja, Chief Nwosu Ibe, who prayed for him and charged him to restore the pride of Ndigbo.
Among top Igbo elite who at various times met and discussed with the new Ohanaeze leaders were former Governor of Anambra State, Okwadike Chukwuemeka Ezeife; former Ministers, Tim Menakaya, Ihechukwu Madubuike, Frank Nweke Junior, Mrs. Viola Onwuliri, as well as top business men from the region.
In Lagos yesterday, Nwodo was scheduled to meet with various segments of Ndigbo including Alaba and ASMDA traders as well as Ndigbo Lagos group, Aka Ikenga and the leadership of apex Yoruba socio-political group, the Afenifere.
Meanwhile, the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council has congratulated the Ohanaeze leader, promising to have a healthy working relationship with him.
In a letter signed on behalf of the group by the Emir of Gummni who is the Chairman of the coordinating committee, Justice Lawal Hassan, the group said they are convinced that working in harmony with Ohanaeze would open new frontiers of cooperation among the people and engender peace, development and progress for the country.