In response to the devastating impact of insecurity in Igbo land, Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, has taken proactive measures to address the situation. Collaborating with South-East governors, they organized a South-East Security and Economic Summit during the 2023 Igbo Day celebration in Owerri and Enugu.
The summit brought together prominent Igbo figures to brainstorm on strategies for positive change, under the theme “Igbo Kunie” (Igbo Rise Up).
During the event, Ohanaeze Ndigbo honored past Igbo leaders, including iconic figures such as Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Chinua Achebe, in the Igbo Hall of Fame.
Addressing the pressing issue of insecurity, Ohanaeze President-General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, attributed the crisis to the continued detention of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, by the DSS. He urged the FG to release Kanu, emphasizing the need for a non-kinetic approach to resolve the situation.
Billionaire and Igbo Day Chairman, Prince Arthur Eze, advocated engaging the Federal Government for Kanu’s release and addressing other challenges affecting the Igbo community, such as erosion, unemployment, and political representation.
Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State emphasized unity among Igbo-speaking states, highlighting the importance of mutual investments for regional development. Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, urged the Igbo community to tackle challenges head-on, citing the region’s progress in the 2022 Ease of Doing Business report.
Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State stressed the need for unity and peaceful dialogue among Ndigbo, while Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, emphasized engaging with youths and addressing issues like drug abuse.
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, highlighted the importance of unity, expressing concern about division among Igbo leaders. He urged Ohanaeze Ndigbo to reach grassroots levels, promote cultural values, and dissolve existing Igbo groups in favor of unity under Ohanaeze.
Elder statesman Chief Mike Ahamba suggested adopting the development model of Dr. Michael Okpara, the late Premier of the defunct Eastern region, focusing on regional growth within Nigeria.
These concerted efforts reflect the determination of Igbo leaders and stakeholders to address challenges and foster unity, development, and progress in the region.
IMAGE: New telegraph