The three-day convention of World Igbo Congress 19th Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas ended on September 1, 2013 with an unshaken resolve. WIC in its infinite wisdom has reaffirmed its commitment and doggedness for the president of Nigeria of Igbo ethnic extraction. Despite all the efforts made by some speakers during the event to portray President Goodluck Jonathan as an alternative route to Igbo Presidency, the chairman, Joe Nze Eto had a contrary view. Eto insists on the president of Nigeria of Igbo ethnic extraction in 2015 and warned that no individual should speak or be a sole voice for Ndi-Igbo on this issue.
During an interview, Eto said, “I believe very strongly that Igbo should aspire to produce the president.” Joe Eto continued, “Igbo have brilliant minds and a long list of capable people who can turn the freefall in education, morals, and national economy around.” “Other geopolitical zones in Nigeria have produced president,” Eto lamented. “Why would anyone say it’s not now for the Southeast to produce president of Nigeria in 2015?” Eto asked. He emphasized without equivocation, “Igbo should take the opportunity to take the presidency of Nigeria.” Joe Eto seemed to express the emotions and sentiments of a vast majority of Ndi-Igbo in the Diaspora.
However, for WIC to actualize this goal, it has to constitute a high powered committee on the President of Nigeria of Igbo Ethnic Extraction (Committee on PNIEE) 2015 to reaffirm PNIEE 2015 and liaison with other groups for the actualization of Igbo presidency. The committee should be able to educate and solicit inputs from individuals, organizations, churches, governors, NAS members, and others using town hall, survey, and personal contacts to gather pertinent information. The committee should communicate with political parties, Ohanaeze, PNF-USA, Njiko Igbo, Aka Ikenga, DCDC, IWA, ISA, and others for the realization of resolved goal—president of Nigeria of Igbo ethnic extraction. It’s not enough to agitate for the presidency of Nigeria; the clamor must be accompanied by a framework of synergy and actionable path.
The recently concluded convention witnessed notable people from Nigeria who spoke on various issues that affect Ndi-Igbo in Nigeria. Chief/Dr. Simon Okeke, OON, former Chairman, Police Service Commission commented, “Due to our being habitually in a hurry, we have never sat down to fashion out our Indigenous political philosophy/Ideology as the other major ethnic groups have done. We must come up with our own indigenous political ideology rather than being an appendage of what does not really belong to us.” He continued,
“Today we operate just on the periphery of major political parties. May be this is responsible for our not being in any of today’s political calculations as we are being branded as a group without any political discipline. It will be difficult, if not impossible for any nation to willingly concede its presidency to a “group with a perceived image of unseriousness and political indiscipline”.
Chief Okeke continued, “It is an incontestable fact that our President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, is serving his first term in office and therefore is constitutionally entitled to a second shot at the Presidency in 2015. He deserves all the support we can muster as we had done before. As a people sharing in collective destiny and commonwealth of this country Nigeria, it is sacrosanct that we secure our destiny as well as our heritage from further decimation.
All we need to do as a people is to work out a properly negotiated accommodation from the president for the collective interest of our people Ndi Igbo. To get the best for our people, we must be seen to stand together as one entity or people using our first eleven in the art of negotiation, to get the best terms for the best communal interest of our people.”
HRM Dr. Edmund M. Daukoru, FIC, CON, MINGI XII, Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom, Chairman, South-South Monarchs Forum in his rare appearance at WIC convention said, “The huge privilege to share this very significant moment with you is due almost entirely to my royal brother and compatriot, HRM Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, CON, of Obinugwu and Chairman South East Council of Traditional Rulers, to whom I extend my whole-hearted appreciation. His Majesty is a great monarch of Igbo land, a relentless and untiring net-worker for the unity and well-being of Ndi-Igbo within the Nigerian polity, just as he is among the most active monarchs I know, promoting the peace and stability of the Nigerian nation; and I know quite a few. The fact that I am here is testimony to his fore-sight, quick-thinking and commitment to build bridges of unity and understanding across the nation.”HRM Dr. Edmund M. Daukoru continued, “The Igbo constitute one of the three largest aggregations of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. But demographics alone do not determine the impact of a people in the pluralistic polity, which our great nation Nigeria is.”
HRH Eze (Dr.) C. Ilomuanya, CON, Obi of Obinugwu, Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers accompanied by other traditional rulers shared, “The Council under my Chairmanship has evolved a mechanism aimed at ensuring that Ndi-Igbo speak with one voice on issues of common interest affecting our people and geo-political zone.
To this end, we have reached out and are synergising with the South-East Governors Forum and our apex socio cultural body, Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo. The result is that today, Ndi-Igbo is more organised, articulate and focused on what they need and how to actualise the objectives in the short and long term.
This cannot be contested.”“We have also engaged the Federal Government in meaningful dialogue on issues affecting the South-East zone such as infrastructural development, power, security, ecological needs and appointment of Igbo indigenes into positions of authority.
On three occasions, I led a delegation of highly respected Traditional Rulers from the South-East on official visit to His Excellency Dr Goodluck E. Jonathan GCFR President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to articulate on some of these objectives. Suffice it to say that the visits were very productive and rewarding for the overall interest of the zone.”
“Ndi-Igbo are pace setters. We lead while others follow. Thus, we must spare no effort in propagating the ideals that unite us while shunning any divisive tendencies. United we stand and divided we fall,” Ilomuanya concluded.