By Emmanuel Elebeke
Dr Onu threw the challenge on Sunday while speaking at the Igbo Day 2019 Cultural Feister held at Old Parade Ground, FCT, Abuja.
He said the proof that God blessed Igbos is that everywhere they go, they prosper. He charged them to eschew rancour and bitterness and unite as people with one destiny and be their brother’s keeper as all-time as exemplified by their forbears.
According to him, if Igbos unite together as a people there is nothing they desire in Nigerian that can’t be achieved.
His words: ‘‘The proof that God blessed Igbos is that anywhere Igboman goes, he prospers. My appeal to Igbo is to let us strive to love ourselves. If we can love ourselves and help ourselves, as our ancestors did. If we love ourselves, there is nothing we want in Nigeria we cannot get.’’
Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Kenneth Ofokansi of Pharmacy Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka, re-echoed the need for Igbos to come together in their pursuit of any goal in the country.
Ofokansi who lamented the gradual disappearance of Igbo language urged Igbos to take up the challenge of teaching the Igbo language to their children and enforcing it as a law in every family.
‘‘Igbos must first love themselves before looking for any other thing. The Igbo language is under threat. We Igbos should start fro our families to teach our children before the second language.
‘‘I urge Igbos anywhere to take it as a law to Igbo in their languages so that the Igbo language will not go into extinction.’’
On 2023 Presidency, Prof. Ofokansi said, ‘‘Every Igbo son and daughter must support the aspiration of Igbos to produce the president in 2023 because what is goose is also good to gender. Igbos have suffered in Nigeria, supported other tribes.
‘‘I feel it is going to be a nice thing for other ethnic groups in Nigeria to unite and support Igbos. It is my hope that other Nigerians will support Igbo presidency.’’
In his remarks, the chairman Ezendigbo FCT chapter, HRH Eze Dr Uche Egenti, Eze Udo one of FCT said: ‘‘Igbos must set aside every misunderstanding and unite together and embrace oneness, Igboness and love.
‘‘They should see a day like the assured that his as a day of unity and showcasing of our culture, love and tradition. Promised that e would continue to strengthen love in FCT and domesticate same.’’
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, FCT Chapter, Odozi Nwodozi said there is growing consciousness of a new narrative aimed at repositioning the mindset of Igbo as it concerns unprepared, unplanned and emotional centrifugal tendencies.
The said the theme of the 2019 Igbo day celebration: Building the Culture of Peace for Socio-Economic Development, he said there was an urgent need for the actors in the Nigerian project to embrace peace for the common good of the populace.
This he said they must do by being conscious of the way they hand out patronage and infrastructure development and the way they react to the excesses of persons affiliated to them either ethnically and politically.
For him, the concept of being and let me be should be the driving force in the Nigerian project.