From Chuks Collins, Awka
The 2014 World Igbo Day celebration which was held for the first time locally at Dr Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, Anambra state yesterday saw the absence of all the five South East Governors and notable sons and daughters of Igbo land.
Signs of problem for the long advertized programme emerged when the federal executive scheduled the investiture of the national honours awards on recipients same day.
Besides tight security arrangement in and out of the venue, the women groups and traditional dancers from across the eastern states including Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States, not much could be said about the event everyone had expected to be a showpiece of the rich tradition, attires and culture of the Igbo.
Significantly, the AREWA Consultative Forum (ACF) which was represented by Rev. Samuel Audu called for the unity of the country, adding that all the groups in the country should join hands for a better society. Other ethnic nationalities including the Yoruba Youth Council (YYC) represented by Husseni Abiola; the Ijaw National congress (INC) represented by Ebieridei Charles Ambacowei were in attendance.
The president general Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Chief Gary Enwo Igariwey reiterated that for equity and justice, Ndigbo would seek the office of president of Nigerian at the expiration of Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, saying that Ndigbo would continue to build bridges with other ethnic nationalities towards the cause.
According to him, “Our strength should come from our demographic spread all over the country. Very soon, after consultation, our people will be called upon to speak with one voice in the issue of president, we did it before and we can do it again”
“The security situation in some parts of the country has exposed our people to clear dangers both in their lives and investments”
“With the escalating body counts from the violence and incendiary rhetorics from discredited politicians who continue to fuel the fire of anti-Igbo hatred, the time to think home is now” Chief Igariwey said
The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has cautioned the leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike that the era of using Biafra or the group to harass and intimidate Ndigbo was over.
MASSOB’s suspended Director of information, Uchenna Madu in Awka, during the Igbo day 2014 celebration said that Ndigbo should know that the struggle for Biafra was not a one man show rather, a collective struggle.
He said that MASSOB had been under bondage for the past 15 years because of the way it was piloted, adding that the struggle would take a new dimension soon which will involve leaders of thought, Igbo leaders, traditional rulers among others.