In its efforts to build national cohesion, peace, justice as well as douse ethnic tension in Nigeria, the distinguished international Igbo think-tank and professionals’ group, Nzuko Umunna, has announced April 28, 2023, to organise and celebrate their second edition of ‘Handshake Across Nigeria’ in Enugu, Enugu State.
In a statement signed and made available to THISDAY yesterday by the Head of Media Committee of the group, Collins Steve Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of the think-tank group, Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, said: “Coming at a time like this, the ‘Handshake Across Nigeria’ project is dedicated to expanding friendships and cementing bonds between Ndigbo and other nationalities of Nigeria, and this will again raise the decibel of our strength in diversities, as our great heritage for our desired unity and development.”
He stressed that: “As a non-partisan body of committed optimists, experiences of history and facts of our co-existence have compelled the awareness that Ndigbo are deep friends of our brother nationalities, and believe in one accord, that there is no love lost that cannot be renewed, refreshed, and even transferred generationally.
“Nzuko Umunna is proud by this inspiration and remains humbled by stakeholders’ endorsements across board, as we look forward to another big day, with South-east state governments as great host.”
The statement also quoted the President of the group, Prof Chika Moore, as saying that understanding the core of inclusion, justice and fairness expressed in a worthy handshake activates respect that love is above hate when friendship is grown intentionally.
According to him, “The pillars of trust must replace the columns of suspicions, so that national cohesion will stand rooted in our hearts of liberty, freedom and security.”
He added: “The theme of this project, ‘Building Bridges for a New Nigeria’, will expectedly rouse the conscience of Nigerian citizens to celebrate their bonds more together, and signal the prosperity in happiness, which a new Nigeria could become.”
The second edition of the ‘Handshake Across Nigeria’ is coming packed with three remarkable contents of historic pedigree-the public presentation of a book: ‘Nzuko Umunna Chronicles’; the transition and investiture of a new Executive Council led by former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka and former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; and a special celebration of leaders from other regions as friends of Ndigbo (Enyi Ndigbo).
The statement added that the ‘Handshake Across Nigeria II’ project is also enjoying the matchless personality of Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu as chairman of the Planning Committee, steering it to deliver value and warmth to all special guests and partners.
It stated that the South-east governors as key partners to the project “are enthusiastic that in the midst of several broken connections and testy ethnic irritations, friendship in a handshake is a bridge they are happy to build, and a renewal every guest should be assured of our full indulgence.
“Already, invitations have been duly sent to eminent Nigerian patriots and persistent champions for a greater Nigeria of our dreams with heartwarming confirmations for attendance and participations.”