By Emeka Mamah
Former Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor Ben Nwabueze has said that there was need for young men and women to take over the leadership of the Igbo, saying that the old generation of leaders have literally expired.
Nwabueze spoke in Enugu yesterday evening at the 16th annual Convention of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM.
The event was chaired by the former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and attended by other Igbo leaders including the former Registrar of WAEC and now traditional ruler in Anambra State, Professor Chukwuemeka Ike; former Ohanaeze Scribe, Chief Nduka Eya; Chief (Mrs) Maria Okwo, former Governor of Abia State and ministerial nominee, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, as well as the traditional ruler of Atani in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Azuka Ngoddy; Chief Chika Okpala aka Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo and John Ikechukwu Okafor among others.
However, looking towards the direction of Dr Ekweme, Nwabueze said, “our generation has passed. I am tired. This is the first time I could stand up to address people in the last two years. Ide (Ekwueme) will be 83 years (tomorrow) today. Prof Ike is about 95. All of us on this high table have aged.
“Leadership is not a small matter. We should look for those in their thirties and forties to support.”
Also speaking shortly after the presentation of an award by the IYM on Dr Onu for his honesty and consistency in leadership, Nwabueze described the former governor as the ideal Igbo who should be encouraged for greater responsibility in the country after the administration Muhammadu Buhari.
Others who received various awards included Dr Ekwueme, Professors Nwabueze, Ike and Mr Okafor among others.
Onu in his speech on the occasion, lamented like other speakers, the inability of many young Igbo to communicate with their kith and kin in the Igbo language.