By Emeka Aginam
As Ndigbo from all over the world return home for Christmas holidays, the Igbo Awareness Movement, IAM/IADI, a group of Igbo activists at home and the Diaspora has renewed their call for merger of Igbo political parties.
The group said that it was time for Igbo political leaders to use this opportunity of Igbo re-union to have a fruitful discussions on how best to get All Progressives Grand Alliance , APGA, Progressive Peoples Alliance ,PPA, and UPP and other political interest groups to a round-table talk and build a strong political front for Ndigbo.
The group who organised a world Igbo summit recently in Enugu as part of their crusade for ‘Igbo think home ideology strongly believe that Ndigbo have what it takes to form a formidable political and economic union capable of putting an end to the lamentable state of Igbo influence in Nigerian politics.
In a statement jointly signed by Chief Larry Iloh, Chairman of IADI Board of trustees, Barrister Jeniffer Agbonma Ukaobasi, Chairman Merger Steering Committee, Dr Randie Dikeukwu, Co-chair Merger Steering Committee, Mr Okey Ndiribe , Secretary Merger Steering Committee, Mr Chudi Nwafor and Nze Emmanuel Izuegbunam , Mobilisers Merger steering Committee, the group called on the leaders of APGA, UPP, PPA and other Igbo political interest groups to embrace this new consciousness for Igbo emancipation.
“The reality of Nigerian politics today calls for Ndigbo from different political persuasions to stop the lamentations, divisive and selfish politics from within, come together and birth a new political bloc that will pursue Igbo interests first and foremost before any other interest, so that progress and development will return to Igboland.
Looking back on the roles played by great Igbo sons such as Zik, Okpara, Ojukwu, Mdadiwe, Ekwueme, Mbakwe, etc, before and after independence in shaping Nigeria, the group says it is a huge disappointment that no current Igbo political leader can boast of any such feats.
“This vacuum of political leadership in Igboland has made it easy for the political leaders of other ethnic blocs to manoeuvre and marginalize Ndigbo in the scheme of things in Nigeria. It is therefore very important now, as other political blocs broker alliances against 2019, for Ndigbo to put our house in order. Time to act is now”, the group said.
In another development, the group in the statement also decries what appears to be an attempt by the Nigerian army to cow and intimidate Ndigbo through the so called ‘operation Python dance’ following the refusal of Abuja court to grant Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB leaders bail.
According to the group, the government should listen to calls by well-meaning Nigerians and release Nnamdi Kanu and his fellow political prisoners without further delay.