December 12, 2021

Igbo better off in a United Nigeria – Uzodinma

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By Vincent Ujumadu and Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma insisted yesterday in Owerri that Igbo were better off in a strong, progressive Nigeria, arguing that there is no alternative to that position.

The governor, who spoke during the presentation of his book, ‘Reflections on the Igbo Question’ urged the people to stop crying, but to stand up take their rightful positions in Nigeria.

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 He said that in as much as it is obvious that Igbo have not had their fair deal since the end of the Nigeria civil war, they should not believe that they were been intimidated in Nigeria, urging them to collectively take their positions, using their God -given talents.

He said: “For Ndigbo, the challenge of our generation is to insist on our inalienable birthright as citizens of Nigeria, who must coexist with other ethnic nationalities as equal partners. This is the rationale for my book that has just been presented to you.

“It is my modest contribution on how the Igbo can overcome the existential challenges facing them today in project Nigeria. 

“This accounts for the sense of fulfilment and joy that I derive from the presentation of this historic book. REFLECTIONS ON THE IGBO QUESTION.  

“This book essentially puts together my thoughts on the Igbo question as expressed at different fora over a period spanning over eight years. This explains the title, Reflections on the Igbo question. I consider its publication to be part of my responsibility to, not just Ndigbo, but Nigerians in general.

“One thing stands clear here, and it is the consistency of my views on the subject matter which were expressed before I became the Governor of Imo State. 

“These views can be aptly summarized in two themes, to wit: Igbos have not had a fair deal from project Nigeria since the end of the civil war. 

“They have continued to cry to high heavens over the sordid dilemma they face in their own country. I believe we have cried enough and it is time to wipe our tears. The second is that Igbo are citizens of Nigeria by birth. 

“They should never allow themselves to be cajoled out of their father’s land and inheritance. This is our country and we must stay here and collectively enforce our rights as bona fide citizens of Nigeria.

“It was that spirit that made the Igbo record many firsts in many fields of human endeavour in the pre – and immediate post Independence era, which is captured in my book.  

“It was the same spirit that propelled the young Igbo men who came to Lagos in the 70’s to rise from hawkers and Obioma tailors to become captains of commerce and industry and to establish much sought-after fashion outfits. 

“We must rediscover that spirit, including the one that inspired us to produce “ogbunigwe” and build many modular refineries during the civil war. These are the spirits we are known for, which always lead to excellence, not the spirit of timidity, self – defeat and crave for easy money, which appears to have possessed our young Igbo men of this generation.”

Chairman of the occasion and former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubike Ihejirika said the desire of Igbo people to produce the next President of Nigeria is their inelianable right.

While commending Governor Uzodinma for making out time to write the book, Ihejirika said: “I salute his wisdom and courage to write this book despite his busy schedule.

“As one of the prominent Igbo people, he has consistently canvassed for a better Igbo. I urge other Igbo leaders to emulate him by putting their experiences into a book.

Former Senate president, Ken Nnamani said: “I congratulate the governor for taking the right step and we hope that before his tenure ends, he’ll give a full account of his stewardship in a book form. 

“I recommend the book for everyone, especially those who criticize. Read the book first before criticizing”. 

Ohaneze President, Professor George Obiozor said: “One of the things Igbo people want is progressive agenda. Uzodinma has provided this agenda with this book. Igbo will get whatever we want, but we must change our approach.  Igbo president is something its time had come. It is realizable”.

 Obiozor added that the book showed clearly that the race for Igbo presidency is  politically correct and morally right.

Former governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim also thanked Uzodimma for the courage to write the book. 

“You are always meditating while others are sleeping. We now know where you stand on every issue.  Now the Igbo question, is justice, equity and fairness”, he said.

Chief presenter if the book, Charles Amadi described Uzodinma as a unique person. “You’re the first governor to share your thoughts while still serving. Thank you for your courage. I therefore feel greatly honoured to unveil this supreme knowledge” . 

He launched it with N25m and bought 3000 copies to be distributed to senators, house of representatives members, among others.

Among those present at the book presentation were former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, former Minister of Interior, Emmanuel Ihenacho,  deputy governor of the state, Professor Placid Njoku, former ASUU president, Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, Archbishops of Owerri, Most Rev Anthony Obinna represented by Rev Fr Gilbert Amaribe represented Arch Obinna, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Imo SSG, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Senator Osita Izunaso, former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Ambassador Empire Kanu, Minister of state for environment, Uche Ogah., Former Dep Govs, Dr. Douglas Acholonu and Engr Ebere Udeagu and former Minister of Education, Prof Chinwe Obaji,