By Steve Oko
Senate Minority Leader and Senator representing Abia Central, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has declared that under no circumstance would the Igbo race be subjected to second class citizens in Nigeria where they have equal stakes with other major tribes.
Senator Abaribe made the declaration after he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Mmiri Oma Nasoro Oha 1” (the good flowing river) by Amuzu Ubakala Autonomous Community in Umuahia South Local Government Area.
The former Deputy Governor who has since declared his ambition to succeed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in 2023, said his vocality at the red chamber was borne out of his conviction that Ndigbo are no strangers but major stakeholders in the Nigeria project.
He avered that any attempt to relegate the race to the background or make them play second fiddle would amount of effort in futility.
Senator Abaribe insisted that Ndigbo must be accorded their honour, rights and privileges as equal stakeholders in Nigeria, more so considering their numerous contributions and sacrifices towards the development and sustenance of the country.
He promised to continue to defend the cause of the Igbo race irrespective of the political risks.
“When a man was needed to surety our son, I came out to prove that we are no second class citizens”, Abaribe declared amidst thunderous ovations from the mammoth crowd.
Earlier in a remark, the traditional ruler of Amuzu Ubakala, HRM Eze Chukwuemeka Iruke, said the honour was in recognition of Sen Abaribe’s outspokenness at the Senate; and for attracting a road project to the community which is outside his senatorial district.
“Without you, Ndigbo would have been voiceless at the senate”, the 78-year-old monarch declared.
Eze Iruke said he was yet to believe that the nightmarish road linking Obinubi with Mgbedala which had been a puzzle since his 78 years of sojourn could be built and asphalted.
Earlier in an address, the President General of the Community, Elder Rex Uwakwe, extolled the heroic efforts of Abaribe at the Senate, and also applauded the patriotic efforts of one of their illustrious sons, Hon. Nwokoma Okorie who attracted Abaribe to the community.
Senator Abaribe who had also inspected a mini-solar grid he attracted at Abia State Teaching Hospital Aba; and Uzuakoli Methodist hospital in Bende LGA, Abia North, said he was a senator not just for Abia South but for the entire state, and indeed Ndigbo.