By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—Worried by the continued dilapidation of federal infrastructure in the South East, alleged abandonment of federal projects particularly the 2nd Niger Bridge, and the seeming neglect of Ndigbo in the scheme of things in the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Igboezue International Association of Nigeria and Diaspora has asked the All Progressives Congress, APC, led government to reverse the trend.
The group said, that the success of past administrations in the country was traceable to the contributions, support and participation of Ndigbo, and therefore, urged the present administration not to neglect or relegate Ndigbo to the background, saying that it would be counter productive to the administration.
President General of the group, Chief Pius Okoye and one of its patrons, Chief Ramas Okoye-Asuzu, disclosed this during the associations end of the year party, Gala Night/Award Night held in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Seven distinguished Igbo sons were made patrons of the group, namely a former member of House of Representatives, Chief Okwudili Uzoka, an Onitsha based lawyer, Chief Emeka Anyoha, a South African based industrialist, Dr Simon Ogonezi, a Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Michael Mbanefo, a member of Anambra State House of Assembly, Vivian Okadigbo and two others.
The occasion was attended by Igbo sons and daughters from South Africa, Canada, America, Britain, Spain and Holland and they took turns to speak on the appalling standard of the infrastructure in Igbo land.
They called on Igbo’s to imbibe Think home attitude as they develop other states of the country including Abuja with their personal funds, saying that extending part of their investments back home, especially, in the face of apparent sidelining of Ndigbo in the scheme of things in Nigeria had become very imperative.
Chief Okoye said their reason for organising the yearly event was to thank God for all the good things He did for members, Ndigbo and Nigeria in general, who have passed through difficult situations and problems, and survived.
“God has been faithful to us in this country, if not there will not be anything like Nigeria today, God used the former President of this country, Dr Goodluck Jonathan who accepted defeat in the last presidential election to keep the country together, doing otherwise would have been disastrous for the country.”
Chief Okoye appealed to President Muhammadu to rule the country with the fear of God, saying “Igbo marginalization is real and clear in his administration and every Nigerian knows that Igbo are not in the scheme of things in today’s Nigeria, sidelining us is a disservice to this administration.
“That Nigeria is the greatest country in Africa today is because of the contributions of Ndigbo, take it or leave it, that Nigeria is moving forward today is because the contributions of Ndigbo, we are not saying this to spite other parts of the country, but it is indisputable fact, so nobody can relegate us to the background, doing that is drawing the country backward.
“Ndigbo is the light of Nigeria, East, West, North and South, you find Ndigbo working and developing the country, so marginalizing, sidelining and relegating us to the background and denying us things due to us, is drawing the country backward and that is what is behind the youth restiveness, so the President should use good heart to rule this country,” he said.
He wondered why the 2nd Niger Bridge project, all the federal roads in the South East have been abandoned, decrying the place of Ndigbo in the constitution of the President’s cabinet, saying that the APC government change mantra must be seen to have been done fairly.
“Igbo’s are unstoppable in Nigeria, no relegation to the background, infrastructural decay due to abandonment of almost all federal projects, 2nd Niger Bridge, federal roads in South East, and frustration through economic policies, will stop Ndigbo.
“There is nothing anybody will do in this country that will stop Igbo’s from moving forward, no government will ever stop Igbo’s from moving forward, so anybody or government that tries to do that is challenging God,” he said.
Two of the award recipients, Chief Anyaoha and Dr Ogonezi called for the spirit of oneness, which they said was lacking among Ndigbo and promotion of Igbo culture, tradition and brotherly love to move South East forward to the next level of development.