Stories by Moses Nosike
In 2018, when Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene emerged as President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, a lot of people believed he would toe the normal way of his predecessors. But today he has changed the narrative. The present Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos has gained more popularity both home and abroad under the leadership of Chief Solomon Ogbonna.
It now carries more human face. He has brought the social cultural group to a limelight, connecting it to people that matters in the society and host community with the likes of Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and grand patron of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi and many more, who have given the group a new face via Chief Solomon whom they trusted can deliver dividend of good leadership which he has actually done.
However, a peep into his leadership style revealed how he values unity and human empowerment through the support of Lagos State government and Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi who are contributing immensely to the upkeeping of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos. So, Igbo indigenes, non indigenes with host community, Yorubas have benefited from the present leadership.
Speaking why he is embarking on human empowerment since the inception of his regime, kudos to Governor Sanwo-Olu and Ifeanyi Chukwu Odi, he said, “I believe that everything in life is by grace of God. God empowers us to empower our fellow human beings, those in need so that the society will be a better place for all of us to live.
I also believe that a giver never lacks because giving is part of human service which God wants us to carry so that He will bless as many that engage themselves in service to humanity. However, the grace of God upon my life is part of the connecting rod with the two powerful men mentioned above, who also consider the needy ones among us and that is why they are deeply involved in human empowerment, helping the less privileged in the society.
Through me they have been reaching the masses in some cases because of their busy schedule. We have been handling this human service very well to the best of our ability, even though you can’t please everybody. I listen to my conscience because whatever we sow, we must reap it in due season. That is one of the reasons I ensure that people get their own share whenever any good things comes to Ohanaeze. And we extend it to our host state, the Yorubas who since I have been working with majority of them I have not had problem with them.
Again, to be honest with the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, he is doing well in the area of empowerment, especially to Ndigbo in Lagos. As the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, I’m in position to tell the true position of things in our relationship with the Governor of Lagos State”.
In his passion and promise to do more, Chief Solomon Ogbonna mentioned some of the empowerment especially given to some widows. “We have done a lot to empower the widows reason been that some of them their late husbands did not leave anything behind to cater for their children. So, those empowerments help in their children education and family welfare.
According to him, during COVID-19, we shared palliatives both widows, non widows, youths and old. Also, there was this one that was shared to many from United Nation anchored by the Lagos state government. Over 300 women got their shares. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos also benefited. The governor has ensured that members of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos are not sidelined when it comes to empowerment. Very soon, more empowerment is on the way and with the governor and Ifeany Chukwuma Odi. This has been consistent because Ebele Anyi Chuks Foundation has done so much for the society not only in Lagos but the entire country. So, we must be praying for them especially the man with the big office, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Sanwo-Olu.
On the secret of his performance, Chief Solomon said, “It is said that seeing is believing. What Ndigbo did not enjoyed before my tenure, they are now enjoy it. Even though out of 12 there must be Judas, but 95% can testify the achievement of the present leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos under my supervision, compare to my predecessors. That is why I promise to do better than my achievements yesterday for the interest of Ndigbo and our host community.
On the relationship between Ohanaeze and and Lagos state government, Chief Solomon said that we have experienced good relationship with the present leadership of Lagos state government under the supervision of Governor Sanwo-Olu.
This is the only time in history that Ndigbo has been allowed to come close to Lagos state government. They benefit from the governor and through appointments. They have been given sense of belonging.
Commenting on the insecurity in Nigeria, especially Ebony State, he said, “I blame the Governors of the eastern region. If government can pledge money for anybody that provides useful information or can fetch these killers out, even their sponsors will be willing to expose them. This is what America do when enemies are troubling them. So, the money given to governors as security vote is enough and should rightly be invested in the protection of their state.
Let them take a cue from the governor of Lagos State who invested massively in the security of his state by provision of the state of the art security equipment and gadgets. Governors should realize the important of security and accords it the desired priority. You need to stay alive to fulfill any ambition. For instance if our leaders were hapless and got killed in the crossfire of previous security crisis in the country, they would not have been leaders today. So let them brace up and tackle the security situation in their respective domain. It is the fault of the governors, we need a local security, indigenous vigilante. Give them what will make them feel comfortable and they will make every effort to combat it. We need old people and family members for information. And when they provide these information, we must scrutinise, compare and contrast before execution.
Without this way bandicts and vices will continue to have a free day in the country.
On youth unemployment, the Ohanaeze headman said that government has no alternative providing jobs for the youths. In government parastatals, there are vacancies that can accommodate more youths. It is government that would create such posts in ministries in order to accommodate more people in ministries. Government can appoint several SA in a particular ministry and pay them in order to reduce unemployment. There are a lot to offer our youths. For instance, as a state governor, if you are getting N10b naira a month and you are paying salaries of N4b there is still N6b left. Why can’t you put more people on the run with N1b naira, that would reduce unemployment among the youths. They know what to do. Leadership is the problem of Nigeria. When we have a good leadership everything will change.