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Offia Nwali: Nnia Nwodo, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, tasks Igbo

•Stop behaving like conquered people in conquered territory, he warns

From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

It was the maiden public lecture for Second Republic Senator and one of the founding fathers of Ebonyi State, the late Senator Offia Nwali, who died in 2016 at the age of 74.

On that day, the people of the state together with other prominent Igbo sons and daughters, gathered at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to begin the step towards immortalisation of Nwali’s name through a public lecture.

As soon as the event kicked off, the guest speaker, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, provoked the Igbo spirit as he called on them to take charge of their destinies in Nigeria instead of playing the second fiddle.

Chief Nwodo, who was a former Minister of Information held the audience spell-bound as he reminded the Igbo about the stuff they were made of, admonishing them to stop behaving like conquered people in conquered territory.

Nwodo also condemned the harsh bail conditions given to the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, saying that though the Igbo should continue to remain humble and gentle, such character should not be mistaken for timidity.

He noted that while there are divided voices and different historical accounts about the origin of the Igbo and their link with the Jews, there are no doubt, several unmistaken similarities between the Igbo and the Jews. He enjoined the Igbo therefore to emulate the Jewish people, pointing out that “we are not loved in Nigeria and the reason is because we are hardworking and so enterprising.

Nwodo revealed that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization is at the forefront at present in achieving an agricultural revolution in Igboland as it was practised during the Michael Okpara era. To this end, he said, the target is to produce five million palm trees in Igbo land in the next five years, noting that when the Igbo man keys into the project, about $300 million could be generated from palm oil alone in Igbo land.

He said that discriminatory practices against the Igbo are obvious, but the stage for lamentation was gone, noting that requisite actions and decisive steps have commenced in a bid to address the situation.

His words: “If you are an Igbo man, re-think Igbo. I have never seen any other tribe in Nigeria that is treated like conquered people like ours.

The Ohanaeze leader said in losing Senator Offia Nwali the Amajim Ameke community in Ezza Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and the Igbos in general have lost their pathfinder.

Recalling Nwali’s educational life, exploits as an educational administrator, the tragedies in his life in 1983, when he lost his wife and six children in the F28 ill- fated air crash and how he bounced back after the incident to marry another wife later on and raise fresh kids, he challenged Ndigbo to live by the standards the late Nwali has set.

The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Kelechi Igwe, who spoke on behalf of Governor Dave Umahi said that the late Senator Nwali displayed exceptional courage in life and contributed immensely to the realization of the creation of Ebonyi State.  Also speaking, the Ebonyi State Secretary to the Government (SSG), Prof Bernard Ifeanyi Odoh gave an insight into the life and times of the late Senator and why the government decided to honour him noting that the Harvard University-trained Analytical Computing engineer “stood for the creation of Ebonyi State that we are all beneficiaries today.

Government functionaries in the state that attended the lecture included the Chief Judge, Justice Aloy Nwankwo, Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru; former Deputy Governor, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, among others.



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  1. mazi offor joseph okereke 17th May 2017 at 11:49 am

    well spoken able presido of ohaneze ndi igbo. the ibos should answer the clarion call and wake up now. i wonder why a tribe that held the rest of nigeria for three good years 1967-1970 when we were in crude state of our life should be dissipating fear and timidity now that we are in sophistry of our life. we are hated no doubt but that should not be allowed to sway our sense of industry and valour. if we can succeed with two pounds they gave average ibo man at the end of the war no matter how much you had in your bank account, why cant we succeed if we call a spade a spade and for the federal government and their uncalled for marginalization and humiliation. the whole world are aware that the ibos are hated in nigerian project yet they refused to allow us to go. why should the railway lines in the north and west be taken care of and that of the east abandoned and forgotten? the british that colonised us divided nigeria into three segments ie, the northern , eastern and wester regios. all other things called states are our own creations. equity demands that if any project that will affect these regions, non should be left behind. i challenge nigerian government to tell us any pilot scheme of the federal government since the end of nigerian civil war that the east was used. every thing is either north or west. that was why imo state was the first state to build airport single handedly through peoples effort. my opinion is that if a man says that their maid is bad, they should allow the maid to go period!.

  2. Ezekiel Okeke 17th May 2017 at 3:53 pm

    He Nwodo and his present Ohanaeze have displayed high level of coward attitude, and like the said conquered etc. Not the majority Igbos that decided and stood for Republic Of Biafra. The worst he Nwodo and present Ohanaeze did are all their efforts to deceive Igbos for the fallen entity call Nigeria. Those few Igbos that clearly stood against Republic Of Biafra are better than them- Igbos will never forgive them, no amount noise now will change the fact that they do not have place in Igboland of Republic Of Biafra they did not stand for. Their place is Abuja and its ruined entity they stood for.

  3. Frank Ikemba 19th May 2017 at 1:07 am

    Chief Nwodo and his team ve started very well and need the encouragement of all Igbos to enable them achieve more. To start with, he has been able to diagnose and identify Igbos’ problems and challenges in the Nigeria state most eloquently and unequivocally in his inaugural address. Igbos are highly impressed with his stand on most issues affecting the Igbo nation negatively. He has gone further to sensitise and prod the Igbo office holders to change their perception on matters concerning the interest of South Easterners. For instance, Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB. The recent judicial/political rigmaroles that led to granting of bail to the IPOB leader is a case in point. Before Nwodo, the whole of the South East area was virtually taken over by police and army checkpoints, which made it look as if South East is in a war zone, with the concomitant extortions and traffic hold ups that slowed down business in the area. Through the timely intervention and outcry of the new indefatigable Ohaneze leader, this evil has significantly reduced. Though there are few DPOs who ve refused to abide by the IGP’s directive to vacate all checkpoints and roadblocks. Some of them now use the cover of darkness in the nights to perpetrate their evils, but I believe nemesis will soon catch up with them if the IGP’s monitoring team carry out their assigned duties diligently and discreetly. Overall, it is a very good beginning for the Ohaneze helmsman and I wish him more grease to his elbows.

  4. Ezekiel Okeke 19th May 2017 at 6:11 am

    @ Frank Ikemba. Any who is ignorant should know the fact that Igboland is war zone from 1967 to date. Any who stand or advocating for Igbos existence within the fallen entity call Nigeria is Anti-Igbo and ignorant. The only thing that will end Igboland as a war zone is Biafran Victory which God has given Igbos of Republic Of Biafra.

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