The Igbo yesterday re-examined themselves and resolved to think home so as to develop the Igbo nation.
Igbo leaders who gathered in Owerri, Imo State capital to take this decision reasoned that the state of the nation today makes it imperative for the people to look inwards to build Igboland.
They called on Igbo who have invested in other parts of the country to replicate such investments in Igbo land to create employment and develop the zone.
These are part of the decisions of the meeting of the leaders organised by the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo. It was tagged Igbo Unity Forum.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha hosted the meeting held at the Imo International Convention Centre.
Governors, former governors, prominent citizens, including former Chief of General Staff in the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida military regime, commodore Ebitu Ukiwe
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Okorocha, Enugu State Deputy Governor Cicilia Ezeilo, former governors of old Anambra State Jim Nwobodo and Chukwuemeka Ezeife – Imo State Deputy Governor Eze Madumere and industrialist Pascal Dozie attended the session.
Also there was former Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (retd.).
The leaders said the Igbo have what it takes to solve any problem that might arise in the region.
Ohaneze President-General Gary Enwo Igariwe, described the meeting as critical to the rebuilding of Igbo land.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in his welcome speech said the Igbo group has been striving to be the mouth-piece of the people of the region without success. He was, therefore, excited that they had succeed in closing ranks in order to move the race forward.
“We have never had it like this in coming together to proffer solutions to Igbo problems,” Igariwey said.
He noted that the Igbo are very adventurous and great achievers, pointing out that the Igbo contributed over 30 per cent of the development of Lagos and have helped in developing Abuja too.
He said: “We should come together and solve our problems. We are known for our resilience and industry. Thirty per cent of investments in Lagos and Abuja is owned by Ndigbo but now we are calling on our people to think home and build another Abuja in Igbo land.
“We should invest at home to create jobs for our people. So, today is a special day because we have decided as a people to close ranks and proffer solutions to our problems.”
Guest speaker Prof. Anya O Anya, called for a reorientation among Ndigbo. “The solutions to our problems can only be found within and not outside. We are the only ones that can solve our own problems,” he admonished.
He added: “We are preparing to rebuild Igbo land to meet with the Nigeria of the 21st Century. We have gathered because the time is critical so that we can chart a new course for our people. There has never been a time we are faced with a barrage of problems like now so we need our past to find solutions to our problems.”
The president general of Ohanaeze therefore, called on the Igbo to now think home to replicate those things they have done in Lagos and Abuja in Igboland.
Also, former governor of old Anambra State who was the chairman of the occasion, Senator Jim Nwobodo, called on successful businessmen of Igbo extraction to start investing at home in order to create employment opportunities for Igbo youths.
Similarly, Prof. Anya O. Anya who was the guest lecturer at the occasion called on Ndigbo to rise up, saying that the time has come for them to re-recover themselves if they must survive in the current precarious times in the country.
Commodore Ukiwe urged the Igbo to forget the past and look forward, “We should forget about the past; there is nothing to regret about and we cannot be intimidated by anyone”
Others are Prof. Anya O. Anya, former chairman of Police Service Commission, Chief Simeon Okeke, MTN and Diamond Bank Chairman, Chief Pascal Dozie, President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Gary Enwo- Igariwey, former Anambra governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Amb. George Obizor, Col. Joe Achuzie and many traditional rulers from the South East, among others present at the august occassion.